Envision Virgin Racing confident of better things ahead of Swiss ePrix

by Nathan Hine
Sam Bird at Berlin Templehof Airport duirng 2019 Berlin ePrix

With ABB FIA Formula E returning to Switzerland for the eleventh round of the 2018-19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship, Envision Virgin Racing Team Principal Sylvain Filippi is confident that the upcoming round around the Swiss capital will see the team ‘return to its true form’ following a spell of challenging races.

Virgin is one of only three teams to have recorded two wins this season in Santiago and Paris, added to a further three podiums, which sees the British customer outfit third in the championship standings. But despite consistently showing strong pace throughout the season, they have endured a tough set of results during the mid-part of the season, not least because of tricky qualifying sessions for both drivers during the last two rounds in Monaco and Berlin.

Virgin now head to the brand-new venue in Bern third in the championship standings on 137 points, some 51 points behind points leader DS Techeetah with three races to go.

But despite their points deficit to the top two, heading to the next round in Bern, Envison Virgin Racing Team Principal Sylvain Filippi said:

“For Envision Virgin Racing, we’ve enjoyed one of our strongest ever seasons with both Sam [Bird] and Robin [Frijns] picking up victories and additional podiums.

” Since the last race, we’ve been working extremely hard to analyse all the data and find improvements where we can. We’re confident we will see a return to the team’s true form in the Swiss capital.”

The 2019 Bern ePrix will take place around the newly-constructed 2.750 km, 14-turn anti-clockwise circuit which will see the drivers race through the heart of the Swiss capital. It follows Aare river through the city’s iconic historic centre. As with last year’s race in Zurich, the Swiss track features several surface changes throughout the lap with the drivers having to overcome tram lines and elevation changes in order to master this street circuit.

Dutch driver Robin Frijns who is fifth in the drivers’ standings believes Bern will be a great event, saying:

“It’s exciting to be visiting a new Swiss circuit and I’m looking forward to going racing on what should be a great track with an amazing backdrop. I’m confident that the car has the pace and we’ve worked hard during the downtime since Berlin to ensure that we’re in a good place going into Bern.

“I haven’t raced in Switzerland before with Formula E so I’m excited to be heading to a new country and coming away with a good result.”

His team-mate Sam Bird meanwhile has had a difficult second-half of the season with his ninth-placed finish in Berlin being the British racer’s first points finish since Hong Kong.

But after finishing second in Zurich last year, Sam will be hopeful of a return to better days; “It’s been a difficult few races on my side of the garage but during the extended break we’ve looked at every element of the race weekend and I feel far more confident in myself going into Bern,” he said.

“Qualifying, as always, will play a crucial role this weekend, as I now feature in the third group, and this season seems to have shown that the later qualifying groups perform better as the track evolves. Hopefully this will put us in good stead and we can capitalise on this.”

And on a brand-new Formula E circuit, anything is possible. The Swiss ePrix will take place at 6pm local time where Virgin will see if they can return to the sharp end of the grid as the end of another Formula E season draws near once more.

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