Long Beach ePrix Race Report
The FIA Formula E Championship took over the streets of Long Beach, California for Round 6 of the international series. Simona de Silvestro became the first female driver in Formula E history to score points with her ninth place finish. de Silvestro qualified 13th and started 12th in her No. 28 Amlin Andretti car after penalties were passed down to pole sitter, Antonio Felix Da Costa.
Robin Frijns weekend started out promising after qualifying sixth, just missing out on his first Super Pole, and starting fifth overall. However, tides turned for Frijns early in the Long Beach ePrix after Sebastien Buemi made contact with the back of Frijns No. 27 Amlin Andretti car. The hit caused Frijns to spin and lose his rear wing. Frijns pitted his first car early due to the damage, thus he fell back in the field. Frijns' smart driving style never wavered, he wisely conserved energy to finish 15th.
The Andretti Formula E Team next competes in Paris, France for Round 7 of the Formula E series on 23 April.
Roger Griffiths, Co-Team Principal of Andretti Formula E Team
"A bit of a mix weekend for the Andretti Formula E Team here in Long Beach, our home race," Griffiths said. "I'm very happy to see Simona finally get off the ground and score some points. A ninth place finish for her. She drove a great race. She kept it clean, met all her energy targets and had a good clean car change. Those are all the pieces you need to do well and score points. It's good for the team that we now have both drivers scoring points. I'm sure it's good for her motivation going into Paris too.
"For Robin, obviously, it's very frustrating. We had a quick car, we were consistently quick all through the practice sessions and narrowly missed out on the qualifying Super Pole by nine one-thousandths of a second. So to then get hit from behind by what appeared to be a very optimistic overtaking maneuver by Buemi was disappointing. That early in the race it just seemed unnecessary. We hung in there and tried to make the best of it until we were black flagged. Then we did the car change and gave Robin a very aggressive energy target. To his credit, he managed to hit it.
"He finished the race and kept it all on track, which is important for the team and for the sponsors as well. Unfortunately, Robin finished outside of the points but every lap we do we learn something. Now we look forward to Paris and the first European round of the championship. Hopefully we'll see a better result there."
Robin Frijns, No. 27 Amlin Andretti Spark-Renault SRT_01E
Started fifth and finished 15th for Round 6 of Formula E competition.
Frijns was hit early on in the race forcing him early into his second car and altering energy conserving strategies made by the team.
"I was hit from behind from Buemi," Frijns said. "The hit damaged my rear wing, it was off the car. So I was black flagged and had to come in and change cars. I had to do 25-laps in the second car so I had to drive really slowly, conserving a lot of energy. But really the race was over, it's as easy as that. But I want to say thank you to the guys on the team. They did not deserve that finish for all the hard work they do to get the car prepared. They gave me a good car this weekend."
Simona de Silvestro, No. 28 Amlin Andretti Spark-Renault SRT_01E
Started 12th and finished ninth for Round 6 of Formula E competition.
de Silvestro became the first woman in Formula E history to score points.
"I'm pretty happy to get my first points in Formula E," de Silvestro said. "We've been so close so many times and we've never got them. So it's a great step forward. The weekend was good, pretty happy to have it happen in Long Beach too because most of my racing has happened here in the U.S. so it feels like home. You always want to do well in front of your home crowd."
The FIA Formula E Championship next heads to Paris, France for Round 7 of competition on 23 April 2016. In the meantime, stay tuned to Amlin-AndrettiFE.com for updates and go behind the scenes with team via Twitter @AmlinAndrettiFE.