Sylvain Filippi: Ad Diriyah pace shows Envision Virgin's potential for Marrakesh E-Prix

Sylvain Filippi believes that Envision Virgin Racing's pace at the season-opening Ad Diriyah E-Prix showcases the team's potential for this weekend's race in Marrakesh. 

In Ad Diriyah, both Sam Bird and Robin Frijns failed to produce a points finish for the British marque, with an exclusion from qualifying for both drivers following a power overshoot hampering the team's weekend, with the pair narrowly missing out on the top 10, finishing in 11th and 12th. 

Following the race in Ad Diriyah, both Bird and Frijns were able to parade the currently masked pace of the team's customer Audi e-tron FE05 package by topping both the morning and afternoon sessions in Formula E's first of three in-season group tests. 

“We’re feeling positive for the New Year," said Filippi, Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer of Envision Virgin Racing.

"Our recent performance in Ad Diriyah – in which the team made up 16-places from the back of the grid – shows the potential of the team and we believe we’re in a strong position heading into Marrakesh.

"We showed last time out we have a quick car and two very capable drivers, and we’re now looking to build on that momentum.”

Bird mirrored Filippi's confidence in the team's potential as a firm believer that the team's true pace will emerge at the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan:

“Last year I was on the podium in Marrakesh and I’d really like to be up there again this year," he said.

"We proved in the race in Ad Diriyah that we had the pace and as a team we can gain a huge amount of confidence from the performance we showed during the test day which followed.

"Both Robin and I have been working hard at the simulator to ensure we are prepared for the upcoming race, where we believe our true potential will begin to show.”

Frijns, who made his return to Formula E in Ad Diriyah after spending the 2018 season racing in the DTM and Blancpain GT Series, added: “The team gained a huge amount of invaluable data during the first round of the season, which is important for us given our limited pre-season testing.

"We have a competitive car and, combined with the hard work the team have put in, we’re in a good position heading into the Marrakesh weekend.

The Marrakesh E-Prix will take place on January 12 and will be followed by Formula E's second edition of its rookie test on January 13.