Virgin only needs to be a "tiny bit better" to beat top FE teams

Envision Virgin Racing team boss Sylvain Filippi feels his squad only needs to be "a tiny bit better" to challenge the title-winning outfits in Formula E

Virgin only needs to be a "tiny bit better" to beat top FE teams

Virgin finished third in the 2018/19 season - its joint-best result in FE in its first season without factory backing (after the inaugural spec championship in 2014/15).

The team ended up 31 points adrift of 2018/19 teams' champion DS Techeetah and was 12 behind Audi, which triumphed in 2017/18, but it beat the Nissan e.dams squad that won FE's first three teams' championships as Renault.

When assessing his team's first season as a customer FE squad, Filippi said he believes Virgin just needs to make small improvements to reach the top level.

"From my perspective, trying to be as objective as I can be, I really am convinced Audi and Techeetah are not faster than us, they have just been more consistent," he told Autosport.

"If you look at the data, the reason we are a bit down in terms of points [in 2018/19] is because of DNFs from being taken out by other drivers.

"We have part of the responsibility of that, but it's definitely not a lack of understanding of the car or the pace of our drivers or car.

"I'm delighted with the team, with the engineers - our drivers did an excellent job. We just need to do a tiny bit better next year and we'll be up there."

Filippi said Audi was "a great partner" for Virgin in the last campaign, and said the manufacturer had provided "a really strong car".

"We as a team have done a great job because they just give us the car, it's our job to optimise it up and make it work," he added.

"The credit is really to extract the performance, I believe, pretty much exactly in the same way as the Audi works team have.

"Which is impressive given the size of our team compared to the size of theirs.

"But Audi have been great. I have a regular dialogue with Dieter [Gass, Audi motorsport boss] and Allan [McNish, Audi FE team principal] on a range of subjects - and we just want to win.

"What I like is that it's a very straightforward partnership - we are competitive, we race for points. We're not going to let them by, costing us points. I need points for my team."

Virgin, which has won a race in each of FE's five seasons so far - the only squad other than Audi (including its Abt iteration) to have done so - is understood to have a three-year deal to use Audi powertrains.

When asked if he had given any consideration at this stage to Virgin extending that arrangement, Filippi said: "We don't know - it's already a multi-year deal anyway so I don't need to think about that.

"I'll think about that later when I need too. But for now, we see no reasons to look elsewhere - we're happy, the car is fast, we have a great working relationship."

shares
comments
FE adds Jakarta to 2019/20 calendar as late races shuffle back

Previous article

FE adds Jakarta to 2019/20 calendar as late races shuffle back

Next article

The top 10 Formula E drivers so far

The top 10 Formula E drivers so far
Load comments
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21 Plus

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was one without a narrative for much of the season, with no single car or driver able to break away from the pack. That makes choosing a top 10 especially difficult, particularly as the qualifying format meant some worthy performers were unable to enjoy their day in the sun

Formula E
Sep 19, 2021
How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Plus

How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin

Formula E
Sep 17, 2021
The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning Plus

The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning

OPINION: The departure of Audi from Formula E meant its long-time driver Lucas di Grassi would need to find a new berth to stay on the grid. His deal at Venturi Racing will ensure the championship's first-ever race winner will remain competitive into the final year of the current Gen2 ruleset - although it may not be a long-term fit

Formula E
Sep 15, 2021
The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure Plus

The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure

Mercedes' planned withdrawal from Formula E at the end of the 2022 season will contribute to the big hole left by fellow automotive manufacturers Audi and BMW on their departures. Although the team may stick around under a different guise, the exit of the now-reigning teams' champion underlines FE's current issues...

Formula E
Aug 18, 2021
The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion Plus

The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion

After clinching the Formula E title at the Berlin finale, Nyck de Vries is a driver in demand. Although Mercedes would love to keep a reigning champion at the team, the allure of a Williams F1 drive may be too much for de Vries to ignore should a potential deal come to pass

Formula E
Aug 17, 2021
How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms Plus

How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms

As Formula E lined up to complete its seventh season at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport, all eyes were on who would be its first official FIA world champion. Despite Nyck de Vries' title lead heading into the weekend looking all but secure, the Dutchman held on - and enjoyed a good dollop of fortune - to secure a championship double for Mercedes

Formula E
Aug 16, 2021
Why a brutal title defence can still yield another Formula E crown Plus

Why a brutal title defence can still yield another Formula E crown

It hasn't been properly reflected by the points table, but Antonio Felix da Costa has been nigh-on flawless in his Formula E title defence in 2021. Returning to the scene of his Berlin dominance in 2020, he has the chance to set the record straight and claim a remarkable against-the-odds second title

Formula E
Aug 12, 2021
Why Audi was right and wrong in Formula E's loophole row Plus

Why Audi was right and wrong in Formula E's loophole row

OPINION: With Audi's Formula E exit imminent, it had nothing to lose in London by attempting to vault Lucas di Grassi into the lead by pitting him under the safety car. Scorn directed at the team for putting glory before ethics should instead be pointed at a rulebook that allowed such a move in the first place

Formula E
Jul 27, 2021