Virgin Racing close to confirming OEM partner

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Virgin Racing close to confirming OEM partner
Sam Smith
By: Sam Smith
May 8, 2015, 8:20 PM

The Formula E team spoke with Motorsport.com about the the rumoured collaboration with Citroen.

Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing
Sam Bird, Virgin Racing
Alex Tai, Virgin Racing
Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing
Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing
Sam Bird, Virgin Racing
Sam Bird, Virgin Racing
Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing
Virgin Racing

Virgin Racing Formula E team boss Alex Tai has given fresh insight to in to the year two plans for the team.

Speaking to Motorsport.com this afternoon after rumours of collaboration with Citroen (potential via its DS brand) came to light yesterday, Tai was reticent to give further details on what is believed to be a Virgin and Citroen alliance for 2015/16 and beyond.

We want a development partner and we want a partner that can put it in their (road) cars.

Virgin Formule E team boss Alex Tai 

“We have been talking to manufacturers for a long time and we are hoping to announce things with one in particular in due course but  am not in a position to confirm or deny anything at this stage,” said Tai.

The 'right' partner

“We want to partner with the right manufacturer that has the right skill sets for us and as we stand here the talks are ongoing and progressing very well,” continued Tai. “We want to promote electric vehicle technology and to use the race environment and rapid prototyping that comes from racing so it flows down to the people on the street. To do that you need to be working with an OEM which will then sell it on to the people on the street.”

Tai emphasised the fact that an OEM would be a development partner and that a motorsport/automotive technology transfer would be key.

“We want a development partner and we want a partner that can put it in their (road) cars. Some OEM’s have more race experience than others and where they have experience to draw upon then it would be silly not to utilise that experience.”

Tai also gave interesting insight into the Virgin position within motorsport, stating: “We found it very difficult to match our environmental aspirations in F1 to our corporate position. We tried to bring in CFD to design the car but it was too early for that and we looked at new fuels, we tried to come in under a cost cap. F1 didn’t work for us but Formula E at present does.”

Expect same driver roster

Motorsport.com understands that Virgin Racing is close to continuing the contracts of Sam Bird and Jaime Alguersuari for season two of the FIA Formula E Championship.

On his drivers, Tai would only state: “We are talking together right now for year two and they both have great capabilities.”

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About this article

Series Formula E
Author Sam Smith
Article type Interview