Cassidy replaces Bird at Virgin FE team for 2020/21

Super Formula champion Nick Cassidy will join Envision Virgin Racing for the 2020/21 Formula E season, replacing the Jaguar-bound Sam Bird.

Cassidy replaces Bird at Virgin FE team for 2020/21
Listen to this article

Cassidy, 25, will join Robin Frijns in the Audi customer team’s line-up when the seventh season of the all-electric championship commences next January as part of what is being described as a multi-year agreement.

The New Zealander, who has primarily raced for Toyota in Japan since 2016, made his first outing in FE machinery earlier this year during the rookie test in Marrakesh and turned heads by setting the quickest time of the day and a lap record.

Cassidy, the winner of the 2015 All-Japan Formula 3 and 2017 SUPER GT crowns as well as last year’s Super Formula title, said he felt ready for a fresh challenge in his career.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to be joining Formula E and Envision Virgin Racing from next season,” said Cassidy. “The team is one of the most successful on the grid, have a great set-up and facilities, and have continually impressed me since I joined them for the rookie test back in March.

“All drivers know the depth and quality of the field in Formula E is among the best in the world, so it is great to be adding my name to this roster.

“Racing in Japan has been an amazing experience and I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to achieve so much in a short space of time, but I feel it’s now time for the next challenge in my career and I’m very much looking forward to doing that with Envision Virgin Racing and Formula E.”

Read Also:

Envision Virgin managing director Sylvain Filippi added: “In Nick we know we have a very ambitious, capable driver with raw talent, speed and race craft, as well as an impressive track record for his age.

“From his short time with us we are confident – together with Robin Frijns – we have two drivers that can compete at the sharp end to win championships.”

Nick Cassidy, Rookie Test Driver for Envision Virgin Racing, Audi e-tron FE06

Nick Cassidy, Rookie Test Driver for Envision Virgin Racing, Audi e-tron FE06

Photo by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images

Although Bird’s defection to Jaguar, announced on Tuesday, created an obvious space for Cassidy to slot into, it’s understood Envision Virgin’s offer did not necessarily depend on Bird leaving the team and predated that move being finalised.

Cassidy had also been sounded out by numerous other teams about 2020/21 drives, including to replace Mahindra driver Pascal Wehrlein for the six Berlin races that will round off the coronavirus-disrupted 2019/20 season as well as the following year. But he turned down that offer in favour of pursuing a deal with Envision Virgin.

Read Also:

This year, Cassidy is contesting another dual campaign for Toyota’s flagship TOM’S team in Super Formula and SUPER GT. Given Virgin’s Audi customer status, he will not be required in Europe for testing duties until the official pre-season test in early December.

Motorsport.com understands that a dialogue is ongoing between Toyota and Cassidy about a continuation of their relationship in 2021 and beyond.

There remains a possibility therefore that Cassidy could stay involved in SUPER GT with TOM’S next year, although in the event of any calendar clashes he would be expected to prioritise his FE commitments with Virgin.

If such a scenario comes to pass, Cassidy would most likely split his time 50-50 between a European base in Monaco and Japan, where he has lived since 2015.

Nick Cassidy, Team Tom's

Nick Cassidy, Team Tom's

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

However, this year is set to be Cassidy’s last in Super Formula, and his departure from the series would open up a plum seat at TOM’S for the 2021 season.

Sacha Fenestraz, who is driving for the team in SUPER GT this year and with fellow Toyota-powered squad Kondo Racing in Super Formula, would be a prime contender for the drive.

Read Also:

shares
comments
Bird makes surprise Jaguar FE switch for 2020/21
Previous article

Bird makes surprise Jaguar FE switch for 2020/21

Next article

Why Cassidy will be no ordinary rookie in Formula E

Why Cassidy will be no ordinary rookie in Formula E
How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans Prime

How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How Evans kept cool in Jakarta heat to renew his Formula E title push Prime

How Evans kept cool in Jakarta heat to renew his Formula E title push

Jean-Eric Vergne had comfortably taken a landmark pole for Formula E's first visit to Indonesia and looked set to win his first race of a highly consistent campaign. But the DS Techeetah driver couldn't answer a late attack from Jaguar's Mitch Evans, who profited from the Frenchman's change in battery management tactics to seize a third win of the campaign

Formula E
Jun 6, 2022
Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E frontrunner Prime

How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E frontrunner

Having emerged as one of Formula E’s strongest drivers in his one-and-a-half seasons in the championship, Jake Dennis cemented his place in the series with a breakout maiden season. But it's not always been smooth sailing for the Briton

Formula E
May 10, 2022
How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco Prime

How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco

The Mercedes Formula 1 team is struggling, but its Formula E arm is in fine form at the moment and once again leads the drivers' standings courtesy of Stoffel Vandoorne. Here's how the Belgian took a well-judged Monaco victory to emerge at the head of the brewing four-way championship tussle

Formula E
May 2, 2022
Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises? Prime

Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises?

With a fighter-jet inspired design, revamped technical specifications and a new tyre supplier, Formula E's Gen3 car is set to shake up the series. But can it deliver on all of the promises that Formula E has set out to ensure that manufacturers consider the outlay on going racing in an all-electric arena worthwhile?

Formula E
Apr 29, 2022
Why Nissan's e.dams buyout signifies its Formula E victory intent Prime

Why Nissan's e.dams buyout signifies its Formula E victory intent

The e.dams Formula E squad is one of the most storied in the championship's short history as its original benchmark, but its successes in the Gen2 era have been fleeting by comparison. Nissan's decision to take full control ahead of Gen3 marks a statement of intent that it intends to get back to winning ways

Formula E
Apr 12, 2022
How Evans came, saw and conquered Formula E in Rome Prime

How Evans came, saw and conquered Formula E in Rome

Mitch Evans and Jaguar dominated the Rome E-Prix weekend, winning both races to bring alive a season in which he'd scored just one point from the previous three weekends. Supreme overtaking and strategy proved key in bringing the Kiwi back into title contention on a weekend that he was, his rivals conceded, “in a different league”

Formula E
Apr 11, 2022