FANDOM


Virgin Racing
Virgin Racing logo
Team Information
Based Flag of the United Kingdom London, UK
Début 2014 Beijing ePrix
Founder Unknown
Key People Alex Tai
Driver(s) Sam Bird (No.2)
Alex Lynn (No.36)
Car DS Virgin DSV-03
Sponsor(s) Unknown
Website Virgin Racing
Team Stats
Last Season 4th
Entries 45
Wins 7
First Win 2014 Putrajaya ePrix
Points 627
Poles 6
Podiums 19
Fastest Laps 6
Titles Unknown
Current Season
Entrant DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team
Flag of the United Kingdom Sam Bird Flag of the United Kingdom Alex Lynn
Sam Bird Alex Lynn
3rd (143 Pt(s)) 16th (17 Pt(s))
Team Standings
3rd (160 Pt(s))
 

DS Virgin Racing are a British based racing team which competed in the 2017/18 ABB FIA Formula E Championship and were one of the founding teams in the series.[1] Originally having formed as a standalone team called Virgin RacingDS Virgin Racing comprise of the original team, with manufacturer backing from DS Automobiles, a division within Citroën.[2]

In four seasons of FE, Virgin have twice finished third in the Teams' Championship, while lead driver Sam Bird came close to winning the Drivers Championship in 2017/18.[3] However, after three seasons with DS backing, Virgin were forced to purchase a set of powertrains for the 2018/19 campaign, with the French manufacturer moving to Techeetah.

BackgroundEdit

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.[1] 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.[1]

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.[1] 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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] 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.

French connectionEdit

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.[2] 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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]

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.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12]

DS DivinesEdit

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.[13] 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.[14] 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.

Four Star StartEdit

For 2017/18 Virgin would pick Alex Lynn to partner Sam Bird, with López leaving the team in hopes of securing a drive elsewhere, while DS continued to supply the team as "works" entry.[15] After a relatively quiet pre-season test in Valencia, Bird would win the opening race of the season in Hong Kong, beating pole sitter Vergne.[16] Bird went on to finish fifth in the second race of the weekend to secure himself at the head of the Championship, while Lynn claimed a handful of points with eighth.[16]

Bird's lead in the Championship would be reduced in Marrakech as he finished third, before Antonio Giovinazzi and Joel Eriksson took part in the 2018 Rookie Test for the team.[17] Unfortunately for Virgin the "Rookie Test" would benefit their rivals more than themselves, for Bird could only finish fifth in Santiago, while Lynn retired.[18] An even more disappointing weekend in Mexico City followed, before Bird finally returned to the podium in Punta del Este, with Lynn achieving his best finish of the season in sixth.[19]

Bird's good form carried on into the 2018 Rome E-Prix, with the Brit scything to victory after pressuring title rival Felix Rosenqvist into making a race ending mistake mid-way through the race.[20] Another third place finish followed in Paris for Bird, with the Brit finishing with three wheels on his car after late contact with André Lotterer, although Lynn again failed to score.[21] The team then paid the price for the way that DS' powertrain harnessed energy in Berlin, with the longer, flowing layout meaning Bird could only claim a handful of points.[22]

Virgin were far stronger in the 2018 Zürich E-Prix as Bird finished second, although another poor display by Lynn meant that their Teams' Championship hopes were all but over.[23] Bird himself, meanwhile, would head to the season finale in New York City with a shot at the title, if he could beat Vergne in either race.[3] Yet, the updated Brooklyn Street Circuit did not suit the DS powertrain, causing both Bird and Virgin to drop to third on the final day of the season, overhauled by Lucas di Grassi and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler.[24]

Audi Absolution?Edit

DS withdrew their backing from Virgin Racing at the end of the 2017/18 season, meaning the Virgin squad had to find a new powertrain supplier for 2018/19.[25] Speculation suggested that Virgin would therefore purchase their powertrains from 2017/18 Teams' Champions Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, with a potential deal to run an Audi factory driver potentially in the works.[26]

Formula E RecordEdit

The tables below show Virgin Racing's full record in the FIA Formula E Championship.

Formula E EntriesEdit

The table below given and overview of Virgin Racing's entries in Formula E:

Virgin Racing's overall Formula E Record
Season Official name No. Drivers DC Pos. DC Pts. Car TC Pos. TC Pts.
2014/15 Flag of the United Kingdom Virgin Racing 2 Flag of the United Kingdom Sam Bird 5th 103 Spark-Renault SRT_01E 5th 133
3 Spain Jaime Alguersuari 13th 30
3 Switzerland Fabio Leimer 32nd 0
2015/16 Flag of the United Kingdom DS Virgin Racing 2 Flag of the United Kingdom Sam Bird 4th 88 DS Virgin DSV-01 3rd 144
25 France Jean-Éric Vergne 9th 56
2016/17 Flag of the United Kingdom DS Virgin Racing 2 Flag of the United Kingdom Sam Bird 4th 122 DS Virgin DSV-02 4th 190
37 Argentina José María López 9th 65
37 Flag of the United Kingdom Alex Lynn 23rd 3
2017/18 Flag of the United Kingdom DS Virgin Racing 2 Flag of the United Kingdom Sam Bird 3rd 143 DS Virgin DSV-03 3rd 160
36 Flag of the United Kingdom Alex Lynn 16th 17

Career ResultsEdit

Listed below are the full career results of Virgin Racing:

FIA Formula E Championship Record
Year Driver Rounds Pos. Pts.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2014/15 Flag of China Flag of Malaysia Flag of Uruguay Flag of Argentina Flag of the United States Flag of the United States Flag of Monaco Flag of Germany Flag of Russia Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of the United Kingdom 5th 133
Alguersuari 11th 9th 5th 4th 11th 8th Ret 12th 13th
Leimer 14th Ret
Bird 3rd 1st Ret 7th 8th Ret 4th 8th Ret 6th 1st
2015/16 Flag of China Flag of Malaysia Flag of Uruguay Flag of Argentina Flag of Mexico Flag of the United States Flag of France Flag of Germany Flag of Russia Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of the United Kingdom 3rd 221
Bird 7th 2nd Ret 1st 6th 6th 6th 11th CAN 7th Ret
Vergne 12th Ret 7th 11th 16th 13th 2nd 5th CAN Ret 4th
2016/17 Flag of Hong Kong Flag of Morocco Flag of Argentina Flag of Mexico Flag of Monaco Flag of France Flag of Germany Flag of Germany Flag of the United States Flag of the United States Flag of Canada Flag of Canada 4th 190
Bird 13th 2nd Ret 3rd Ret 16th 7th 7th 1st 1st 5th 4th
López Ret 10th 10th 6th Ret 2nd 4th 5th Ret 3rd
Lynn Ret Ret
2017/18 Flag of Hong Kong Flag of Hong Kong Flag of Morocco Flag of Chile Flag of Mexico Flag of Uruguay Flag of Italy Flag of France Flag of Germany Flag of Switzerland Flag of the United States Flag of the United States 3rd 160
Bird 1st 5th 3rd 5th 17th 3rd 1st 3rd 7th 2nd 9th 10th
Lynn 8th 9th 9th Ret 10th 6th Ret 14th 16th 16th Ret 14th

ReferencesEdit

Videos and Images:

References:

  1. 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. 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)
  3. 3.0 3.1 'Di Grassi victorious as Vergne clinches championship crown', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 14/07/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/july/di-grassi-victorious-as-vergne-clinches-championship-crown/, (Accessed 15/07/2018)
  4. '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)
  5. '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)
  6. '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)
  7. '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)
  8. '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)
  9. '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)
  10. 10.0 10.1 '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)
  11. '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)
  12. '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)
  13. '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)
  14. '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)
  15. 'Lynn joins Bird for full-time drive at DS Virgin', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 05/09/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/september/lynn-joins-bird-for-full-time-drive-at-ds-virgin/, (Accessed 05/09/2017)
  16. 16.0 16.1 'Bird clinches victory in Hong Kong', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/12/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/december/bird-clinches-victory-in-hong-kong/, (Accessed 16/12/2017)
  17. 'Formula E rookie test driver line-up revealed', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 04/01/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/january/formula-e-rookie-test-driver-line-up-revealed/, (Accessed 04/01/2018)
  18. 'Vergne steals the show in epic Santiago E-Prix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/02/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/february/vergne-steals-the-show-in-epic-santiago-e-prix/, (Accessed 03/02/2018)
  19. 'JEV holds off di Grassi in battle for Punta del Este', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 17/03/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/march/jev-holds-off-di-grassi-in-battle-for-punta-del-este/, (Accessed 17/03/2018)
  20. 'Bird claims historic victory in Rome', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 14/04/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/april/bird-claims-historic-victory-in-rome/, (Accessed 14/04/2018)
  21. 'Fairytale ending for home race hero Vergne in Paris', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 28/04/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/april/fairytale-ending-for-home-race-hero-vergne-in-paris/, (Accessed 29/04/2018)
  22. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Ber18R
  23. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Zur18R
  24. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named NYC18R2
  25. Sam Smith, 'Vergne, Lotterer to Test DS Performance Gen 2 Car', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media, LLC., 25/05/2018), http://e-racing365.com/formula-e/vergne-lotterer-to-test-ds-performance-gen-2-car/, (Accessed 26/05/2018)
  26. Sam Smith, 'Virgin Eyes Audi Power for Season Five', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media, LLC., 22/01/2018), http://e-racing365.com/formula-e/virgin-eyes-audi-power-for-season-five/, (Accessed 26/05/2018)