London ePrix Race Report
The FIA Formula E Championship headed back to Europe for Round 9 in London, England. The Andretti Formula E Team debuted a new look on the streets of Battersea Park with sponsor MS Amlin at the helm of the new design. Robin Frijns proudly took the new livery to his first Super Pole appearance of the season, he qualified fourth overall. Teammate Simona de Silvestro fought braking issues during qualifying. Locked brakes sent her into the wall during qualifying and she started the race from 17th.
Round 9 was two drastically different stories for the dueling garage sides of Andretti Formula E Team. Frijns, who spent the majority of the race in fourth place, had reentered the race fifth after his car change. While working his way to a potential podium he was struck by Daniel Abt. The strike ended both driver’s races. Meanwhile de Silvestro steadily made her way through the field to an initial 11th place finish. However a post-race penalty dropped her to 14th.
The Andretti Formula E Team gets a second shot at victory tomorrow, Sunday, July 3 for the 10th and final round of the Season 2 FIA Formula E competition.
Roger Griffith, Co-Team Principal of Andretti Formula E Team
"Qualifying ended up being quite a lottery," Griffiths said. "A combination of red flags and the weather gave us our first Super Pole run. We weren't expecting it based on the way our practice sessions had gone, but you take it whichever way you can. Unfortunately, because we had to do a second qualifying run in the first session due to a red flag, when we went into Super Pole the state of charge on the battery wasn't sufficient enough to do a full lap in qualifying at 200 kilowatts. The battery had derated so we made the best of what we could. We were on a drying track and the first car out, so it was going to be challenging. At the end of the day we started fourth, happy with that. Simona had an incident in qualifying and therefore started from the back of the field.
"In the race Robin was running a good race from the start, running fourth, a good pace through the first stint. Unfortunately we lost a spot during the car change, we’ll need to look at what happened there. Our race ended two laps later when we were hit from behind by the No. 66 (Abt) car. That was the end of the race for Robin. With Simona she worked her way up from a 17th place start. She passed some cars on track, some genuine overtaking maneuvers. She was good on energy. She unfortunately ended up finishing just outside of points, but she brought the car back in one piece. We've got plenty of things to look over tonight to come up with a plan to find a little bit more speed for tomorrow. The goal for tomorrow is to finish with double points for the season.
"On another note, we've debuted a new look this week as part of a rebranding exercise for MS Amlin. I think there have been a lot of positive comments about the new look for the team. It's exciting to be able to bring something new for the last race."
Robin Frijns, No. 27 Amlin Andretti Spark-Renault SRT_01E
• Made his first Super Pole appearance and started the race 4th, a season best.
• Did not finish the race after being struck by Abt halfway through the race.
"It was exciting to get Super Pole," Frijns said. "We were lucky enough to get it for once. The race was disappointing. It started really well, I was running quite strong in P4 without any issues. We lost the pace in the pits, I came back out in fifth. I had Abt and Renault behind me; it was quite difficult to defend. Then after Abt drove around me in Turn 2 he hit me then went into the wall, bounced off it and hit me again. Then the race was over. We'll try again tomorrow."
Simona de Silvestro, No. 28 Amlin Andretti Spark-Renault SRT_01E
• Fought braking issues in qualifying resulting in a 17th starting position.
• Finished 11th overall, just outside of points, besting her finishes from the 2015 London ePrix where she took home 16th and 13th.
"Today we were really unlucky having an issue with the breaks in qualifying," de Silvestro said. "We are not sure what happened. The rears were just locking and you couldn’t do anything about that. It was frustrating and starting 17th never helps. But we had some luck passing in the race. In the first car we had some issues with the coasting and couldn’t get the energy we needed in the first three laps. That really killed us because I was really over target after that. I had to slow down quite a bit to actually manage to finish the first stent.
"The second car was much better, we were running quite well. The safety car helped us out after the problem in the first car, so that was good for us. After that we raced really well. We finished close to top ten. I was looking to finish 10th but Conway decided to cut the chicane a little bit. A little annoyed that we are not in the points, but after qualifying, 11th* is ok."
*Ultimately classified 14th following a post race penalty
The FIA Formula E Championship wraps up Season Two competition tomorrow, July 3 with Round 10. Season 3 competition starts in Hong Kong, China October 8-9, 2016.
In the meantime, stay tuned to Amlin-AndrettiFE.com for updates and go behind the scenes with team via Twitter @AmlinAndrettiFE.
About MS Amlin:
MS Amlin delivers continuity by insuring commercial enterprises and protecting other insurers around the world. We build lasting client relationships, together in strength as part of the global top-10 insurance group MS&AD. We are experts in underwriting and claims, focused on Property & Casualty, Marine & Aviation and Reinsurance, with operations in the Lloyd’s, UK, Continental European and Bermudian markets. To learn more visit: msamlin.com