Frijns Virgin FE deal "nothing to do with Audi"

Robin Frijns says his Formula E deal with Virgin Racing is “nothing really to do with Audi”, with the manufacturer confirming he is independently contracted to the British squad.

Frijns Virgin FE deal "nothing to do with Audi"

Frijns will return to race in FE for the 2018/19 championship, where he will partner Sam Bird at Virgin in the team’s first season using customer Audi powertrains.

The 27-year-old explained that his place in the Virgin line-up was not sealed as part of the squad’s supply deal with Audi.

“It’s [Virgin majority owner] Envision’s team that really decided to take me,” Frijns told Motorsport.com.

“Audi’s not really involved in which drivers they want in this team, they only give the engines and give the feedback and support.

“It’s really come from this team, it’s nothing really to do with Audi.”

Audi motorsport boss Dieter Gass explained that before Audi could confirm it would continue racing in the DTM in 2019 , he had been unable to offer his factory drivers –  including Frijns – guaranteed spots in that programme.

But he suggested that Frijns’s discussions with Virgin over a dedicated FE contract had begun at an earlier point.

“Before actually having that I wasn’t able to talk to any drivers seriously because I had nothing in my hands to offer,” Gass explained to Motorsport.com.

“The discussion with Virgin and Robin started earlier and actually this is a contract [for Frijns] which is completely separate to the contract with Audi.

“He is a Virgin driver and Formula E has priority for him over any other programme that he is doing [in 2019].

“That doesn’t mean necessarily that he will not be in DTM any more next year.

“First we need to wait for the race calendar, which should be issued next week, then we’ll see if it’s possible to do both and then we need to start the discussions if we actually are going to do it or not.”

Gass added that if there are any clashes between the FE and DTM calendars in 2019, then Frijns’s Virgin contract “has precedence” and that “then I don’t think that I can have him running in DTM”.

Frijns explained that he had started early discussions with Virgin as part of his plan to return to the FE grid after losing his seat at the Andretti team – which then had a technical partnership with BMW that has since developed into the manufacturer making the squad its works entry – following season three due to his Audi ties.

“I’ve been working behind the scenes for like several months, it’s not been a secret that after I skipped season four that I was trying to come back,” he said.

“I was looking at my options, then I drove DTM as well, so I needed to have to make some decisions quite early in the season which I did, so that’s why I’m here.”

Additional reporting by Graham Keilloh and Andrew van de Burgt 

Virgin Racing Gen2 Formula E car

Virgin Racing Gen2 Formula E car

Photo by: Virgin Racing

shares
comments
Virgin reveals Gen2 Formula E livery, hires Frijns

Previous article

Virgin reveals Gen2 Formula E livery, hires Frijns

Next article

New team HWA announces Paffett as first driver

New team HWA announces Paffett as first driver
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula E
Drivers Robin Frijns
Teams DS Virgin Racing
Author Alex Kalinauckas
How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco Prime

How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco

OPINION: It was no surprise to anybody that the laptimes achieved by Formula E cars on the full Monaco circuit were much slower than Formula 1. But perhaps the more relevant comparison was in the racing spectacle, where FE delivered in spades.

Formula E
May 12, 2021
How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover Prime

How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover

Formula E faced much criticism in the wake of its maligned Valencia event. In need of a turnaround, the series' first use of Monaco's iconic Formula 1 layout provided it with the injection of thrills required to clear the fog that had enveloped the paddock.

Formula E
May 11, 2021
Why Formula E's Valencia fiasco undermines engineering talent Prime

Why Formula E's Valencia fiasco undermines engineering talent

FIA president Jean Todt wanted more Formula E coverage in the media, and got his wish when the opening Valencia E-Prix proved farcical. Despite attempts to spin the race as teams failing to get their sums right, Formula E and its governing body cannot escape blame - especially when trying to get teams to commit long-term.

Formula E
Apr 27, 2021
How Valencia E-Prix farce gave Formula E an image problem Prime

How Valencia E-Prix farce gave Formula E an image problem

Formula E was under the microscope at Valencia, on its first visit to a permanent circuit. But after a mere nine drivers were left classified following Saturday's Valencia E-Prix, the electric championship once more faced criticism after rising energy deductions and miscalculations produced a farcical affair.

Formula E
Apr 25, 2021
How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome Prime

How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome

Another Formula E double-header, another double dose of frantic action. While the form guide remains unpredictable following fightback wins for Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne in Rome, the speed and consistency of Mercedes – both on and off the track – could have its rivals worried for what is to follow

Formula E
Apr 12, 2021
What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future Prime

What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future

Formula E's Gen3 era grid continues to take shape, after Nissan opted to commit to the series for another four years. Nissan's global chief operating officer explains why it has thrown its lot in with FE while other high-profile marques have decided to call it quits.

Formula E
Mar 24, 2021
Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start Prime

Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start

With the new Formula E season belatedly getting underway in Saudi Arabia, the championship appeared to try to make up for lost time with an overspill of action and controversy on and off the track. While some talking points could have serious repercussions, it was an explosive opener for many reasons.

Formula E
Mar 1, 2021
The eight major plotlines to watch in Formula E 2021 Prime

The eight major plotlines to watch in Formula E 2021

The delayed 2020-21 Formula E season gets underway this week with a double-header in Saudi Arabia. The testing times were too close to call a favourite, but that's not the only area of interest to follow as the championship enters a crucial year

Formula E
Feb 25, 2021