Envision Racing have had a solid start to Season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E championship and currently sits second in the Teams' Standings. With two podiums thanks to Nick Cassidy after five rounds, Team Principal Sylvain Filippi has been discussing their promising potential and close competition.
With Cassidy sitting fifth in the Drivers' World Championship and his teammate, Season 2 champ Sebastien Buemi, behind him in sixth, both drivers have had headline performances this season. Kiwi Cassidy is on a two-race podium streak. In contrast, Buemi achieved the Julius Baer Pole Position in Diriyah but missed out on a podium slot after a post-race penalty in Hyderabad.
"It was a good start of the season, which is interesting for all of us," Filippi states when discussing the first handful of races ahead of this weekend's inaugural Sao Paulo E-Prix. "It was quite challenging, but we recovered quickly."
Pointing to Florian Modlinger, Porsche's Director of Factory Motorsport Formula E, Filippi adds that the German manufacturers have a target on their back as they dominated the early races. However, Envision have a different powertrain partner: Jaguar TCS Racing.
"We are very proud partners of Jaguar. They've done a really good job with the powertrain technology. But as always, it's only one part of the story."
Despite Jaguar being the supplier of the powertrain, they have yet to see the same results as customer team Envision. Although Jaguar picked up a podium during the Saudi Arabian double header with driver Sam Bird, they sit sixth in the standings.
"We all know the sport well enough to know that, especially at the beginning of the season, luck and racing incidents are a big part of it. If you go off the lap times, our Jaguar friends are the same as us in terms of performance.
"A few years ago, my team was leading the championship for the whole thing, and we lost it at the last race. The main thing is to keep working together really well, which we are. We have to be very competitive every race and then put the weekend together. Incidentally, consistency will work."
Formula E is heading into the sixth round of the all-electric GEN3 era, and the Envision Team Principal believes his rivals are close as ever.
"What is exciting is that Formula E is as competitive as ever. I don't think any of us would have expected that, especially at the beginning of a new GEN3 cycle. It's good for the sport but also makes our job together very challenging."
Envision will look to continue its podium successes around the speedy Brazilian circuit as the championship heads to its third new race in three rounds.
"Here, for sure, a very different challenge to get down. For the drivers, it's exciting and, hopefully for the fans and the show.
Free Practice 1 for the Julius Baer Sao Paulo E-Prix gets underway at 16:30 local time on Friday 24 March.
Free Practice 2 follows at 07:30 local on Saturday with qualifying from 09:40. Round 6 of Season 9 gets underway from 14:00 local.