"It took us 9 years, incredible!" - Envision proud of 1st Formula E World Championship title, team principal Filippi praises Jaguar
Envision Racing - one of five Formula E customer teams - is the 2023 world champion. Thanks to a dominant victory by Nick Cassidy at Sunday's rainy season finale in London, the former Virgin team put on the crown in the electric series for the first time in its ninth attempt. Accordingly proud team principal Sylvain Filippi and race winner Cassidy presented themselves after the race.
"It took us nine years, it's an incredible feeling," said Filippi shortly after the end of the race in the TV world feed of Formula E. As the former Technical Director, the Frenchman already accompanied the Formula E entry of the the team in 2014 under the name Virgin Racing. After the departure of the then team principal Alex Tai, he finally took over the leadership of the team. His team was re-branded as Envision Racing two years ago and, after four years as an Audi customer, has been supplied with powertrains by Jaguar since this year.
"The team has done an incredible job," Filippi says, recalling his team's "black" Saturday in London, when Envision teammates Sebastien Buemi and Nick Cassidy collided, and the latter lost his chance at the drivers' title. "We had long talks late last night to re-group everyone. But ultimately, our team is very strong, and that is why I'm so proud of them."
Filippi: "Had a very close cooperation with Jaguar"
"It was an incredible and close season," Filippi sums up, addressing not only the battle against the two Porsche teams, but above all the direct duel with Envision's own powertrain partner Jaguar Racing. Thanks to Cassidy's pole position, Envision had started Sunday's race with a three-point lead. The eventual race winner and Buemi (6th place) even extended the gap to twelve points, sealing the title win.
Envision Racing has had an outstanding Formula E season, narrowly beating the Jaguar factory team in the end. But Filippi knows that - ironically - he also has the British "big cat" to thank for this: "We had a very close cooperation with Jaguar, who have given us the most amazing car. It was fast on every circuit and that gout us to these points."
Title factor Cassidy emotional: "Today was a super difficult day for me"
On the way to the title, however, the driver factor also played a major role. Like Mitch Evans at Jaguar, Envision had a potential champion driver in its lineup, with Cassidy winning a total of four races this season in Berlin, Monaco, Portland and London. Additionally, he finished on the podium four times, contributing 199 of Envision's 304 total points - a good two-thirds.
Before his presumed move to the Jaguar factory team, Cassidy bid farewell with a highlight. He said he had "mixed feelings, but at the end of the day I'm very, very happy because today was a super difficult day for me," he gave an unusually emotional account on TV. "It's no secret that I couldn't sleep last night, and this morning I was late. But I did the business, so I'm proud."
WE'VE DONE IT!?- Envision Racing (@Envision_Racing) July 30, 2023
Cassidy also speaks of a "truly incredible bunch of people" and thanks the Envision team, saying, "They work so hard. Of course, every team works hard, but these guys (are special). They've been close so many times. That just shows how strong they are in this championship. The fact that they have finally made it makes me very happy."