Frijns: “I felt like I was a rally driver”
Robin Frijns says he ‘felt like a rally driver’ as he drove his damaged Andretti Formula E car to third place in the Putrajaya ePrix.
Frijns had started the Malaysian race in eighth place, but the Dutchman took advantage of the numerous incidents in front of him to move up to third place with just three laps to go.
But as he passed the Dragon Racing car of Loic Duval going slowly with suspension damage, Frijns slid on the marbles at Turn 10 and struck the barriers on the outside of the corner.
He was able to continue but had to fight with a bent steering arm for the rest of the race. When Jerome D’Ambrosio also hit trouble, Frijns was promoted back onto the podium to finish behind race winner Lucas di Grassi (ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport) and DS Virgin’s Sam Bird.
Speaking after the race, Frijns said he thought his race was over after he hit the wall but he was able to find a way of coping with the damage.
He said: “I felt like I was a rally driver. Duval had a problem in front of me and he also had a suspension failure. I overtook him before Turn 10 and I went in just a bit too quick and there was a lot of rubber and dirt.
“I was on it and I saw the wall coming and I said, ‘this is it, it’s over.’ It was quite a big hit and the rear was completely bent and the steering was totally not straight any more. Right corners were fine but [in] left corners I really had to take it easy.”
As the Putrajaya race was only his second Formula E start, Frijns described his delight at discovering the strength of his Andretti Formula E car after surviving such a significant impact, but explained that he did not know he was third until his team told him over the radio once the race was over.
He said: “I’m surprised how strong the Formula E car is. I thought that was it and I didn’t know which position I was in. But I kept on pushing and [brought] it home. I crossed the line and they said I was P3, so that was a big surprise.”
Just two races into his Formula E career, Frijns is up to fifth in the standings with 16 points and is 27 behind championship leader di Grassi.