Envision Virgin Racing hope to renew title challenge in Berlin

by Nathan Hine
Sam Bird - Envision Virgin Racing - Monaco ePrix

Envision Virgin Racing head to the 2019 Berlin ePrix for round ten of the 2018-19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship, and are set to revive their title challenge after a difficult weekend for the British outfit at the last race in Monaco where they failed to pick up a single point. But both of their drivers, Sam Bird and Robin Frijns, remain well within title contention heading to the next instalment of the all-electric single-seater championship.

Envision Virgin Racing head to Berlin second in the points standings and some 38 points off championship leaders DS Techeetah with just four races to go this season. But after a disappointing event in Monaco, the team will hope to make amends with a strong showing here at the race held at the former Berlin Tempelhof Airport.

The ten turn 2.375 km purpose-built racetrack is another challenging venue and is known for its high energy use and tyre wear, meaning that smoothness and efficiency will be essential qualities for a strong showing this weekend.  New for this year, Attack Mode will once again feature, with the activation zone on the outside of turn six, meaning that drivers will have to have a sufficient gap to the car behind, as claiming the extra power mode will cost the drivers vital seconds.

Lead Envision Virgin Racing driver, Robin Frijns, hopes to make headway on the two DS Techeetah drivers, Jean-Eric Vergne and Andre Lotterer, this weekend with the end of the championship drawing ever nearer.

“The championship is really getting close now as we head into the final races, so it’s even more important to come away with a good result in Berlin.” said Frijns. 

“Qualifying is going to be crucial for me, but it is a track you can overtake on with long, slow corners.

“The Attack Mode activation zone, on the outside of Turn 6, is also going to be interesting as it looks like you come a long way off the racing line, so the time lost there could be significant.

“I know the whole team though has been preparing hard and I’m just looking forward to getting out on track.”  

Meanwhile, after suffering four non-points-scoring finishes in a row, Sam Bird heads to Berlin tenth in the points table and some 33 points off championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne, so heading to Berlin, the British racer knows how important this weekend is if he is to stay in title contention with just three races top go. So ahead of the race in Berlin, Bird said:

“After the disappointment of Monaco last time out, I’m really looking forward to the Berlin event and getting a strong result.

“As we’ve seen in previous years, tyre wear is high due to the abrasive concrete surface, as well as energy management which is one of the highest of any track we visit.

“We know we have a good car though that can handle this, as well as good one-lap pace, so hopefully we can hook everything up and score well for the team.”

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