The move of Robin Frijns back to Envision Racing was one of the biggest driver swaps of Season 10. The Dutchman, who won two E-Prix with the Silverstone-based squad, found himself back on the podium in Diriyah for the first time since New York in 2022.
Frijns finished in second place behind race-winner Nick Cassidy of Jaguar TCS Racing, with the two of them fighting each other until the very end of the race - just over a second separating the two at the chequered flag.
“Happy but mixed conditions because obviously the start was really good,” Frijns said after the race. He managed to take the lead at the start from Nissan’s Oliver Rowland, but ultimately Cassidy had enough pace and efficiency to stick with them both and emerged from the ATTACK MODE activations in the top spot.
“I took the lead and then I was fighting Nick, basically at pure pace so it was really a challenge,” Frijns continued. “I think Nick was just a bit too strong for me today. He just had that little extra on me. But as he said, ‘everybody has their day’. I just didn't have mine yet, so hopefully it’s coming quite soon.
“I’m quite confident that this is the start of more good results. Obviously, last year, I didn't really have a good car underneath me. This Envision still feels like a new car for me to learn with the Jaguar powertrain, it's quite complicated. I was struggling at the beginning of the season, in Mexico and Friday in Diriyah as well, I was maybe a bit lost.
“We had a long night on the Friday, and we turned it around and in qualifying I was quite strong. Then in the race, I'm just missing that last edge which we will investigate.”
Frijns left the ABT CUPRA team after just one season, racing for the German team in the first year of the new GEN3 era. Although he managed to achieve a Julius Baer Pole Position in Berlin, his best result with the team was a ninth place. He has rejoined Envision, after spending four years with the team between Seasons 5 and 8.
Frijns was forced to retire when he hit the barriers coming out of the iconic Foro Sol stadium during the first race of Season 10 in Mexico. He finished Round 2 in 10th, before securing the impressive second place in Round 3.
“I'm not sure if there was less movement in the pack, but during Friday’s race I was stuck behind Sergio Sette Camara (ERT) – that was the trouble with energy. Today, I think we had similar energy to the top three or four at least but it was a bit more tricky out there than yesterday, because the driver’s line was getting cleaner and quicker, but it was easier to make a mistake,” he said after the Saturday race.
“I was hoping that the car in front of me (Cassidy) would make a mistake, which he did actually at Turn 16 which was quite enjoyable, but it was just not enough! I had good fun. I can't wait actually to have some more races like this.”
The Formula E Championship’s next race is in São Paulo in March, leaving a short gap in the calendar before we get straight back into the action. Although lots of drivers are ready to jump back into their race seats, Robin was grateful for the time to refresh and reset with all the new data.
“For me, it's actually pretty good to have a gap because I finally have some proper data to look into,” Frijns added. “Obviously in Mexico I only did ten laps and the start was really really bad. I had a good day yesterday and we learned quite a bit but today was definitely a step forward for me. So some good comparisons to look into.”