Formula E

Frijns counters driver rumours at Envision with two podiums in Portland: "Wanted to prove something"

Svenja König

Svenja König


Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Robin Frijns has bounced back with two second places at the Formula E race in Portland. A strong weekend that comes at just the right time after a difficult season, as Envision could be facing major changes on the driver side. A fact that is causing anger for the Dutchman, who only returned to Envision from ABT before this season.

After a difficult season at reigning team champions Envision, rumours have been growing in recent weeks that there could be major changes in the positions of both drivers. It even seems possible that Envision might not extend the contract with both Sebastien Buemi and Robin Frijns. One of the reasons for this is said to be their existing commitments with Toyota and BMW in the event of a clash between the WEC and Formula E schedules. In addition, both the team and the drivers have not covered themselves in glory in a difficult season.

With this starting position, Frijns and Buemi will be fighting for their cockpits or good results as candidates for other teams at the races in Portland and London. This plan has worked out particularly well for Robin Frijns: With two second places, he got the maximum out of this weekend against an overly strong Felix da Costa. There was still some anger at Envision due to the personnel situation:

"I obviously tried to prove something this weekend," said the Dutchman in the press conference after the race. "It's not nice to see these rumours, especially because I returned from ABT to Envision before the season to be successful and not just to drive for one season. Yesterday it was just a relief to show everyone that we can still do it. The result today feels much better."

Frijns: "Were not well prepared for some situations"

With two podiums this weekend, he has scored more than half of his total points in the current season. However, this result is no coincidence. "Every now and then we were fast in practice and then drove home with zero points," says Frijns, describing the course of the season for the Jaguar customer team. During the long break before the Chinese races, the system was therefore changed.

"We sat together before Shanghai and completely changed the way we approach races. The team gave me a lot of support. We were not well prepared for some race situations that frequently occurred and have now been able to prove that we have improved."


Who could replace Frijns and Buemi?

The hottest rumoured potential successor at Envision is currently Stoffel Vandoorne. In two years at DS Penske, the Belgian never really seems to have found his way back to his world championship form and is apparently looking for other options in the Formula E environment.

With Vandoorne, a seasoned Formula E champion would join the team, although he also has a parallel programme. However, employer Peugeot has shown itself willing to compromise for the Berlin E-Prix, for example - at least for 6-hour races.

Jake Hughes is another driver who is on the list of several teams after his podium in Shanghai and who was able to hold his own against team-mates such as Rene Rast and Sam Bird. Furthermore, it does not seem out of the question that Envision could also come knocking at the door of Joel Eriksson and Paul Aron, who replaced Frijns and Buemi in Berlin. While Aron is regarded as a promising talent, the Swede scored two championship points on his Formula E comeback. At the season finale in London, Frijns and Buemi will undoubtedly be in the car once again and can promote themselves with good results.

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