Virgin reveals Gen2 Formula E livery, hires Frijns to partner Bird

Virgin Racing will pair Robin Frijns with Sam Bird for the 2018/19 Formula E championship

Virgin reveals Gen2 Formula E livery, hires Frijns to partner Bird

The team revealed the livery it will use on its customer Audi e-tron FE05 cars on Friday morning, as well as announcing its line-up for the coming campaign.

Frijns, a factory Audi driver, raced with Andretti in FE's second and third seasons before the team's technical relationship with BMW led to him losing that drive ahead of season four.

His deal to race with Virgin had been expected for some time and was confirmed at a live launch event held at the team's Silverstone Park base on Friday.

"I'm very excited to be returning to Formula E with Envision Virgin Racing," said Frijns.

"It's great to be joining such a strong team and with the work we've already completed, it's clear we have a very good package.

"We now look ahead to pre-season testing, where we'll be able to better gauge our on-track performance."

Bird, who finished third in the 2017/18 standings but kept the title battle with eventual champion Jean-Eric Vergne alive until the season four finale weekend in New York, said: "It's great to be remaining with the team for a fifth season.

"The relationship we have developed over the last 45 races has been incredible and I'm excited to see it continue to strengthen.

"Season five is a new era for every team - with the introduction of the Gen2 car - but particularly for us, as we are now joined by [majority owner, the digital energy company] Envision Group.

"The team has worked tirelessly over the summer and is ready to return to the track for pre-season testing."

By signing Frijns, Virgin has dropped Alex Lynn after one season - although the Briton also raced for the squad in the 2016/17 round in New York as a stand in for the absent Jose Maria Lopez.

Virgin's managing director Sylvain Filippi thanked Lynn "for all his hard work behind the wheel last season".

"We're delighted to be collaborating with such an innovative, like-minded and sustainability-focused company like Envision Group," said Filippi.

"For us, Formula E has always been more than just a racing championship, it's a chance to be truly innovative and help accelerate change towards a better future.

"As such, we've always been passionate about addressing the wider environmental issues and the reasoning behind our Race Against Climate Change programme. Now with Envision Group onboard, we feel we can strengthen this message even further."

Virgin has not announced whether it will have a replacement for Alex Tai as team principal in season five, although Lei Zhang - Envision founder and CEO - explained that the squad "will be guided by Franz Jung, the vice president of Envision smart mobility and the chairman of the board of Envision Virgin Racing".

"With his rich experience in automotive industry as a former senior executive of German premium brands," Zhang added. "I'm confident in the team for the coming season."

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Audi reveals its first Gen2 Formula E car for 2018/19 season

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