Envision Virgin Racing’s Robin Frijns says the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship’s famed unpredictability means he is taking nothing for granted despite leading the standings heading into this weekend’s 2021 CBMM Niobium Puebla E-Prix.
The world’s premier all-electric racing series returns to Mexico on Saturday and Sunday 19/20 June for a double-header in Puebla, the first time Formula E has raced in the city with the regular Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez track in Mexico City currently a Covid-19 vaccination centre.
Frijns heads into the weekend leading the Drivers’ Standings even though he is yet to win an E-Prix this season – his consistent high-point scores lifting him to the top in a season in which there has been six different winners from four teams across the seven races so far.
Puebla E-Prix: All to race for in both championships with Frijns leading
Reigning champion Antonio Felix da Costa’s stunning victory last time out in Monaco - thanks to a last lap overtake - took the Portuguese roaring back into fourth and into title contention despite spending most of the season in the bottom half of the table.
And it is stories like this which will give Frijns cause for trepidation – the 29-year-old admitting his lead will count for little if he cannot continue to demonstrate the levels of consistency needed to win the world’s most competitive racing series.
“Formula E has always been very competitive, and consistency is always key to be able to fight for a championship," he said.
The guy who leads the championship is always the most consistent one.
“It has been very difficult this season, it is a bit of a hit and miss feeling I have this year, so far. Sometimes I go to race weekends in Free Practice 1, I feel confident and quick and I know we will have a good race weekend ahead.
“But sometimes, like in Valencia, we were nowhere in Free Practice, we were just a bit lucky it rained on the Saturday, and we had good speed in the wet. And then on Sunday it was dry, and we were nowhere again, and I think I finished P18 on pure pace.”
Frijns finished second in Monaco in the previous round, having been pipped to victory by DS TECHEETAH’s Da Costa despite sensationally overtaking Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans just metres from the finish line.
Da Costa and Frijns raced together as teammates in Season 3 for MS Amlin Andretti, and Frijns says his history with the current champion underlines that he has what it takes to claim the title.
“I had a better season that year,” he added. “Everyone has their ups and down, I wouldn’t say I am better than Antonio, but I have definitely been on the same level for many years.
Da Costa pips Evans on last lap to win Monaco E-Prix
“We know each other quite well; we raced against each other back in the day in single seaters. For me it was never a question whether I was on the same level [as him] two or three years ago, I always have been, but last year in Season 6 we didn’t have the pace in the car.
“We have to keep on focusing, our car is not the best car, Mercedes & TECHEETAH are a step ahead, but if we have some weather changes, we have always been up there. If you can fight them hopefully we can turn the tides and have a bit of luck on our side.”
Dutchman Frijns also heaped praise on fellow countryman Nyck de Vries, who currently sits in second place in the Drivers’ Standings and looks set to battle his compatriot for a podium spot this season.
“It is good for the country we are both fighting the championship, said Frijns.
"We also have a Dutch guy leading the Formula 1 championship, so I think the Dutch people are really stepping up their game. I don’t see us winning the Euros, but we will see!”
You can watch the 2021 Formula E season live on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app. You can subscribe here.
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