Robin Frijns makes Formula E comeback in Sao Paulo, ABT Cupra hopes for "new start" in 2023 season
Robin Frijns is back. After a break of ten weeks - four world championship races - the Dutchman can finally start again in Formula E next Saturday (March 25). This was confirmed by his team ABT Cupra on Tuesday. After an accident at the season opener in Mexico, Frijns had to take a break with a hand injury. At the electric premiere in Sao Paulo, he is expected to help ABT finally score its first points of the season..
"My hand feels good," Frijns said. "It feels insanely good to be back preparing for a race with Nico and the whole team - it's great to be back. "The past two months have felt like an eternity. Many thanks to the team, the FIA, all the doctors and physios, and the whole Formula E paddock, who have been patient with me even though I've been so impatient."
Frijns already completed a first dress rehearsal last weekend at the WEC 12 Hours of Sebring. "The stints at Sebring went without a hitch, and I'm fit for Sao Paulo. I was in contact with the team the whole time, was involved in everything and am up to date with all the procedures. The race weekend can get underway."
Generally, anticipation for the Formula E debut in Brazil is high in the paddock. The 2.933-kilometer circuit provides a spectacular backdrop for the sixth of 16 rounds in the ninth season. Among other things, it passes through the Sambadrome - known primarily for carnival celebrations, but also for the IndyCar Series.
Biermaier: "The break has done the whole team good"
For ABT Cupra, the Sao Paulo E-Prix is set to be something of a fresh start to the current season - and not just because of Robin Frijns' comeback. Most recently in Cape Town, Nico Müller and reserve driver Kelvin van der Linde were unable to take part in either qualifying or the race because manufacturer Mahindra Racing had withdrawn all four cars due to safety concerns. The problems with the rear suspension are said to have been resolved in the meantime.
"The break did the whole team good, everyone was able to take a breath and gather new strength," said team boss and ABT CEO Thomas Biermaier. "Now we are delighted that Robin is back on board and will certainly support us with his experience. At the same time, we say a big thank you to Kelvin, who has done a strong job on and off the track over the past two months and will of course remain part of the team."
At the beginning of the week, Müller and Frijns prepared for the new track in the simulator. The Swiss says, "As always, we worked intensively and invested a lot of energy. Nevertheless, we won't see how close to reality the simulations were until after the first laps in Sao Paulo - after all, that's what Formula E is all about. A race on a new track, and then in such a cool metropolis as Sao Paulo, is always a highlight for a racing driver," says Müller.
Saturday's race starts at 6 p.m. (CET) and runs over 31 laps as scheduled. In Germany, ProSieben will broadcast live from 17:25 and show the qualifying on ran.de. You can follow the free practice sessions as usual on 'e-Formel.de'.