In the next of our interviews from Formula E’s first pre-season test at Donington Park, earlier this month, Laura Prior caught up with MS Amlin Andretti’s Robin Frijns for a brief chat about his new team-mate, the prospect of a Formula E race in Holland, and his hopes for next season!
EVP: Robin, tell us, what have you been up to since London? Have you managed to have a break?
“Well, I’m doing other series – Blancpain – so I was quite busy in the summer, but I had two or three weeks off. I went to Paris, went to Disneyland with my girlfriend, so that was good fun! But apart from that, nothing major, nothing special.”
EVP: This year is the first running of Andretti’s bespoke powertrain, so can you give us an indication of how the car feels? Is there a definite change, or too early to tell?
“Not really yet. Yesterday we did about ten laps, and we had some issues. Today, we had a battery issue, so I can’t really tell you where we actually are. We have some issues to solve and we’re working on that. We don’t really look at real performance yet.”
EVP: One obvious visual change this year is the new front wing. Do you feel it’s mostly about aesthetic over function?
“Yeah, it’s pure aesthetic.”
EVP: You’re one of the drivers we always see a lot of praise for, and I think for good reason. Some strong results last season – you scored 45 out of the team’s 49 points – any particular highlights of last season for you?
“Surely, the highlight will be Malaysia, when I finished third on the podium with a damaged rear suspension. So, I think that was good!”
EVP: With a new season comes a new team-mate for you, in Antonio. You’ve both had competitive results, and a lot of fans have been excited over such a strong driver line-up. Are you looking forward to working together and pushing each other?
“Yeah, we are. We’re quite similar guys outside and inside the car, so we have the same way of thinking about stuff. He has a little bit of a different driving style than I do, which is quite normal, but I think we can learn from each other and hopefully raise our own bar a bit higher, and the team as well.”
EVP: Looking to this calendar, we obviously have a big shake up in the calendar. Montreal in, NYC finale, back to Monaco, Marrakesh. Some cool destinations! Is there any race you’re looking forward to this year?
“New York, I think.”
EVP: Considering the new cities added, how would you feel about a Formula E race in The Netherlands? Obviously, with rising stars like Max Verstappen, there seems to be a new generation of motorsport fans coming in. How do you think Formula E would be received if we held a race there?
“I think it would be good. I think Holland is a country that tries to be green, and Formula E brings us the opportunity and shows the people that electric cars can be quick, and competitive as well, so if there would be a race in Holland that would be really cool. Maybe in Rotterdam or Amsterdam, kind of like a big city, so I hope so.”
EVP: I think we’re all hoping for some exciting races this season, and to see you up there on the podium. Are you chasing a podium, a win, more? What are your personal goals for this season?