Robin Frijns heads to the double-header of the London E-Prix this weekend sitting third in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship standings, and he knows he will have it all to do in Qualifying.
The Envision Virgin Racing driver has yet to win during the 2020-21 season but remains firmly in the battle for the title heading into the final four races, but he will start the weekend at the Exhibition Centre London (ExCeL) in group one of Qualifying.
Frijns knows he cannot afford a repeat of what happened in Qualifying for the New York City E-Prix as overtaking is likely to be trickier in London, so he is aiming to be in or around the top ten in order to be in contention for points.
“We’ve done some simulator work for London and the track looks a bit different, quite tight overall and quite narrow in some areas,” said Frijns. “We also have the 4Kw reduction to avoid flat-out racing, but I am not sure that will be enough.
“We now have both cars in Group 1 so it won’t be easy to qualify in front and, looking at the track layout, overtaking will be quite difficult; so qualifying will be important, as always. If we manage to start somewhere around P10 I think we can fight for the points, but I don’t think that starting from the back and finishing in the points will be as feasible as it was in New York.
“However, anything can happen in Formula E.”
Frijns says the track layout has the potential of making conditions trickier if it is wet outside, with the part of the circuit that will be inside continuing to be dry. However, he is expecting an interesting weekend with very close lap times, so getting the most out of every lap will be important.
“With some parts of the track being very narrow I think we will see some crashes, some mistakes from all the drivers,” said the Dutchman. “We’ll also be driving in and out of the track and, of course, we don’t know what the weather is going to do, but it could be half wet and half dry.
“The track surface is different inside and we could have more grip or less grip there – we will need to figure that out when we’re on site.
“But it’s going to be quite interesting I think, with very close lap times in qualifying and also during the races, so we will definitely need to fight for every split second we can gain.”
“The next few races are for sure going to be really tough” – Nick Cassidy
Team-mate Nick Cassidy has been on a good run of form in recent races, with two podium finishes in the past three races, and he has moved up to fifth in the standings heading to London.
Cassidy has twice finished second, in the second races of both the Puebla and New York City E-Prix weekends, while he was fourth in race one in New York to bring himself firmly into championship contention.
The New Zealander hopes to continue the momentum from the past few rounds in London, although he knows it will not be that straightforward as he will now be placed in group one for Qualifying, at least for race one of the weekend.
“I’m looking forward to the London race,” said Cassidy. “It’s obviously the team’s home race and it’s a lot about our guys and girls as well, so should be an exciting one.
“It will be a new experience for Formula E and to come here leading the championship as a team is fantastic. I think we have some real momentum going but the next few races are for sure going to be really tough.
“With regards to the circuit, I don’t really know what to expect – I think it’s pretty different to what we’ve had so far this year, but any track in this championship is a challenge. We’re always up for a challenge, though, so that’s all good for me!”