Monaco E-Prix a 'bitter pill to swallow' for Envision Virgin Racing
Envision Virgin Racing Managing Director Sylvain Filippi has described last weekend's Monaco E-Prix as a "bitter pill to swallow" after the British team failed to register a top 10 finish at the ninth race of the season.
In Monaco, Envision Virgin's weekend began in difficult circumstances, with drivers Robin Frijns and Sam Bird experiencing a poor performance in qualifying, starting the 45-minute + 1 lap race from 11th and 14th on the grid.
In the race, both Frijns and Bird progressed through the field, with the prior running as high as 10th while Bird in the #2 car put on a driving masterclass, demonstrating his attacking ability by fighting his way up to sixth on track.
With three-minutes + 1 lap of racing remaining, Frijns' race fell apart when the driver crashed out in Turn 1 when batting against BMW's Alexander Sims while on the final lap of the race, Bird picked up a puncture after contact with Mitch Evans, relegating the driver outside of the top 10.
"That’s a bitter pill for us to swallow but it is motorsport and we don’t always get the results we deserve," said Filippi, reflecting on the team's third non-points-scoring race this season.
"The team had worked so hard and Sam [Bird] and Robin [Frijns] had driven superbly to get us into a strong, points scoring position, so to then come away empty-handed is really frustrating.
"There’s still a lot of positives to take though from this weekend, and I know we will put it behind us and bounce back.”
While failing to finish inside the top 10 for the fourth race in succession, Bird highlighted the Monaco E-Prix as one of the best Formula E races of his career, frustrated that the E-Prix concluded in the manner that it did:
“Well, what can I say? After a disappointing qualifying, we had one of the best Formula E races of my career with some great overtakes, strong race pace, as well as battery management," he said. "
It’s so frustrating it ended up the way it did, and I feel for the team to come away with no points after all that hard work. That’s racing though and we know on another day it would have been a different story.”
Frijns, who received a five-place grid penalty for the Berlin E-Prix as a result of his incident with Sims, added: "Of course, that was a really disappointing result for us and the team, especially after the success of Paris.
"We had the pace and were on course for a points finish but it wasn’t to be. The team put in so much effort so it’s also a difficult result for them. Nevertheless, we move on and just look to come back stronger in Berlin."
The Berlin E-Prix marks the penultimate round of Formula E's European leg of Season 5 and will take place on May 25.