PARIS EPRIX RACE REPORT
The FIA Formula E Championship traveled to Paris, France for Round 7 of the international series. This was the first time Paris has held a street race for Formula E. Race action was packed into Saturday after road closures were unable to occur until late Friday, forcing the series to forgo its usual Friday Shakedown.
The Andretti Formula E Team began the day strong. Driver Robin Frijns was running up front, battling it out in the top five in both practice sessions. After drawing for Group Two in qualifying Frijns hoped to finally see his lap time stick in the top five and give him his first Super Pole appearance. But alas he was pushed to a sixth place starting position by Group Four qualifier Sam Bird. In the race, Frijns went on to finish seventh, after running as high as sixth. Simona de Silvestro, despite being ill, was running in the top 10 through practice. de Silvestro was qualified 10th by the end of Group Three but Group Four qualifiers knocked her out of a possible season best qualifying effort, she started 12th overall. de Silvestro went on to finish 15th after a rough start dropped her back.
The Andretti Formula E Team next competes in Berlin, Germany for Round 8 of the Formula E series on 21 May.
Roger Griffiths, Co-Team Principal of Andretti Formula E Team
"Robin once again missed out on making the Super Pole group again, by 65 one-hundredths of a second. Really close, but at least we're keeping him close and that's encouraging," Griffiths said. "Simona had one of her best qualifying to date and that was a great job by her. The conditions were difficult with it being very cold, just getting tires up to temperature was challenging. The cold conditions really led to both drivers having poor starts, losing positions.
"Robin was able to recover from that, making up positions prior to his car change. He was held up a little in the pit lane with Simona coming in just as he was exiting. So he lost a position there. He drove a really smart race and passed people on the race track. I don't think we'll ever know what exactly would have happened at the end if we didn't have the caution. I think it could have been really exciting at the end; Robin was in good position in energy status so maybe we could have picked up another spot or two.
"Simona is probably disappointed with a 15th place finish. She got caught up with a rookie in the series and sustained a little damage at the start, but she brought the car home. Unfortunately, she finished outside of points. It's been an incredible weekend in Paris. The organizer here surpassed all our expectations so we're looking forward to coming back next year."
Robin Frijns, No. 27 Amlin Andretti Spark-Renault SRT_01E
• Started sixth and finished seventh for Round 7 of Formula E competition.
• Frijns lost position at the start of the race, falling back to ninth.
• Fought back to seventh all while conserving energy but a late yellow flag ended his progression to the front.
"The start was really bad. I lost three places I think," Frijns said. "I was bunched up in the middle between two cars. I tried to make my way back and took over two cars in my first stint. Then just before my pit stop took one more. We lost that position in the pit lane, so I think we need to look at that.
"I was struggling a lot with the second car. It just didn't have the pace and I had issues with braking especially. I don't know what the issue is but we will check some data and see what happens for the next race. We scored points and that's the most important thing."
Simona de Silvestro, No. 28 Amlin Andretti Spark-Renault SRT_01E
• Started 12th and finished 15th for Round 7 of Formula E competition.
• de Silvestro lost position on the start and was unable to maneuver her way around the cars in front of her without over spending energy.
"The day was actually alright," de Silvestro said. "Qualifying, I made a little bit of a mistake and could have started P8, which would have been better. At the start I had huge wheel spin and that put us really behind because I dropped back to 15th I think. From there, I was stuck behind someone who was using more energy and couldn't really get by and that put us back a little more. But definitely the start put us back quite a bit. Other than that, the car was pretty good. Team did a good job as usual. It just has to come together. We are always missing something, somewhere, so hopefully next time it will come together."
The FIA Formula E Championship next heads to Berlin, Germany for Round 8 of competition on 21 May 2016. In the meantime, stay tuned to Amlin-AndrettiFE.com for updates and go behind the scenes with team via Twitter @AmlinAndrettiFE.