|Début||2014 Beijing ePrix|
|Key People||Alex Tai|
|Driver(s)||Sam Bird (No.2)|
José María López (No.37)
|First Win||2014 Putrajaya ePrix|
|Entrant||DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team|
|Sam Bird||José María López|
|2nd (101 Pt(s))||15th (13 Pt(s))|
|2nd (118 Pt(s))|
Founded specifically for the Formula E championship (having previously competed in Formula One in 2010 and 2011), Virgin have the backing of Sir Richard Branson, an entrepreneur, business men and owner of the Virgin brand. The team hope to bring their experience in other fields (such as aviation and Virgin Galactic) to the championship to improve the series as a whole.
Formula E HistoryEdit
Virgin Racing were one of the first teams to be entered for the championship, with Sam Bird and Jaime Alguersuari named as their drivers. After a podium in Beijing, Bird claimed the team's first victory at the 2014 Putrajaya ePrix, setting up a period where many thought he and Virgin could sustain a title challenge. It was not to be however, as fortune deserted Bird over the following rounds, while Alguersuari continued to take only minor points.
Virgin's season only picked up again at the double header in their home city of London at the end of the season, where Alguersuari, following a health scare in Moscow, was replaced by Fabio Leimer. Although Bird still had a mathematical chance of taking the title, he was eliminated from the fight almost immediately as he failed to take pole. Despite that set back, Bird put in a strong drive in the Second London ePrix that ended the season to take a second victory, having pushed Stéphane Sarrazin hard enough that the Frenchman used all of his energy. Virgin ended the season in fifth, having been unlucky at many times during the season.
Bird will return with the team for season two with Jean-Éric Vergne joining the team, following Algeuersuari's retirement from motorsport.
During the London double header at the end of 2014/15, Virgin announced they would be using a powertrain built by DS Automobiles, the racing subsidiary of Citroën for the 2015/16 Championship. The backing from Citroën saw Bird and Vergne get a seriously competitive car for the season, with both drivers threatening the top times of the 2015 Donington Test. Yet, the season opener would not go to plan, with Bird only managing to secure second, while Vergne missed out on points all together.
Into the second round of the season and Bird once again showed his true colours, just falling shy of victory in the 2015 Putrajaya ePrix, the sight of his maiden win. Minor points and a retirement followed in Punta del Este, before Bird put together an excellent display at the 2016 Buenos Aires ePrix to take a first win of the season from pole. That performance started a run of form for Bird where he frequently claimed a spot in the Super Pole shootout, taking two poles, but fell short due to mistakes in the races.
Vergne, meanwhile, would have a fairly quiet season until the 2016 Paris ePrix, where the Frenchman finally found some form to finish on the podium at his home race. A pole was then converted into a fifth place finish in Berlin, before the Frenchman took a second podium of the season in the 2016 London ePrix I. The final weekend of the season saw Virgin just fend off a late challenge from Dragon Racing for third, with the Anglo-French effort beating the American squad by a single point to finish third overall.
Vergne left the team at the end of the season to join the new Techeetah effort, leaving a vacant seat at DS Virgin for the 2016/17 season. Citroën pushed to have one of their drivers come into the team, with Virgin agreeing to hand José María López a seat in the team, the Argentine already a renowned racing driver with multiple WTCC titles. Bird remained as their team leader, with the pair using the new car to great effect in the 2016 Donington Test, with both getting into the top half of table in terms of overall pace.
Formula E RecordEdit
Virgin Racing's Formula E record is shown below
|FIA Formula E Championship Record|
Videos and Images:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 'Teams: Virgin Racing', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/teams/virgin-racing.aspx, (Accessed 19/07/2015)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Gary Watkins, 'Citroen DS brand joins forces with Virgin in Formula E for 2015/16', autosport.com, (Haymarket Media, 27/07/2015), http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/119713, (Accessed 19/07/2015)
- ↑ 'Sam Bird seals victory in the Putrajaya ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 22/11/2014), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/november/sam-bird-seals-victory-in-the-putrajaya-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 30/04/2015)
- ↑ 'Leimer replaces Alguersuari for London', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/06/2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/june/leimer-replaces-alguersuari-for-london.aspx, (Accessed 25/06/2015)
- ↑ 'Bird hails ‘unbelievable’ end to season', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 28/06/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/june/bird-hails-unbelievable-end-to-season.aspx, (Accessed 30/06/2015)
- ↑ 'Buemi to the max in Beijing', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 24/10/2015),http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/october/buemi-wins-swusp-beijing-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 25/10/2015)
- ↑ 'Di Grassi keeps his cool to win in Putrajaya', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 07/11/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/november/di-grassi-keeps-his-cool-to-win-in-putrajaya.aspx, (Accessed 22/11/2015)
- ↑ 'Bird holds off Buemi for BA win', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 06/02/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/february/bird-holds-off-buemi-for-ba-win.aspx, (Accessed 22/03/2016)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 'Di Grassi triumphant in Paris', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/04/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/april/di-grassi-wins-visa-paris-eprix/, (Accessed 23/04/2016)
- ↑ 'BUEMI AND DI GRASSI CHARGE UP THE ORDER, BUT IT’S PROST WHO LEADS THE WAY', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/prost-wins-in-style-as-di-grassi-inches-closer-to-title/, (Accessed 03/07/2016)
- ↑ 'BUEMI WINS TITLE AFTER SPECTACULAR FINALE: VISA FASTEST LAP ENDS UP DECIDING THE 2015/16 FIA FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/buemi-wins-title-after-spectacular-finale/, (Accessed 04/07/2016)
- ↑ 'TEN TEAMS ENTERED FOR THE 2016-17 FIA FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 01/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/ten-teams-entered-for-the-2016-17-fia-formula-e-championship/, (Accessed 08/07/2016)
- ↑ 'DS VIRGIN RACING CONFIRM NEW LINE UP FOR 2016/17 FORMULA E SEASON: JOSE MARIA LOPEZ TO PARTNER BRITISH DRIVER SAM BIRD', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 07/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/ds-virgin-racing-confirm-new-line-up-for-201617-fia-formula-e-season/, (Accessed 08/07/2016)