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More points for Envision Racing in Shanghai as Frijns surges through the pack

Envision Racing’s Robin Frijns went from 20th to 9th and a return to the points as team-mate Sébastien Buemi battled from the back of the grid to 12th 

With both cars starting near the foot of the grid, the second race of the Shanghai E-Prix was always going to be a tough one for the Green Machine.

Despite starting down in 20th, Envision Racing’s Robin Frijns employed a smart race strategy to keep out of trouble at the start, save energy and pick off his rivals one by one over the course of the weekend’s second race in Shanghai.

And at the chequered flag, the Dutch driver was rewarded with ninth place, two points and plenty to build on as the team heads to North America for the double-header race weekend in Portland.

In Saturday’s opening race of the Shanghai E-Prix weekend, it was Frijns’ team-mate Sébastien Buemi who brought home some world championship points by finishing eighth.

In Sunday’s race, the Swiss driver enjoyed a similar route from the back of the field to the front as team-mate Frijns, however the former champion could fare no better than 12th.

THE RACE

At the start of Round 12, Stoffel Vandoorne snatched the lead from polesitter Jake Hughes as the rest of the field filtered through the opening sequence of corners without incident. Frijns and Buemi ended the opening lap in the final two positions.

The Envision Racing pair started to make progress on lap four, with Frijns moving up to 17th place, and Buemi one position to 21st. Up front, Norman Nato cycled to the lead as the race settled into its rhythm.

By lap 10 of the scheduled 29-lap race duration, António Félix da Costa led for the first time as Frijns made further progress, running in 15th, and looking to catch and pass reigning champion Jake Dennis in 14th place. Which he did halfway around the lap, claiming 14th, and edging closer to the points.

14th place became 13th for Frijns on lap 11, and two laps later Frijns hit the top 10 as Envision Racing team-mate Buemi held 17th.

Looking fast and aggressive, over the course of several laps, Frijns looked to take ninth place from Nyck de Vries, as Buemi made good progress, running in 14th. Frijns claimed ninth from de Vries on lap 19, putting him within sight of the leading pack.

There was late-race drama for Frijns at the chicane as he was hit by McLaren’s Sam Bird, forcing  the Envision Racing man to take evasive action, but crucially hanging on to ninth place as Buemi’s progress pulled him up to 12th position.

Starting the 29th and final lap, Frijns held ninth, behind the Maserati of Max Günther, and that is where the Envision Racing driver would end his first Shanghai E-Prix.

The result marked Frijns’ first points since his second place finish at the Diriyah E-Prix, as Buemi, despite a great fight through the field, ended up 12th and out of the points.

At the front, da Costa claimed his second win of the year, followed by Hughes and Nato.

Drivers’ standings (after Rd 12):
1. Nick Cassidy, 167pts
2. Pascal Wehrlein, 142pts
3. Mitch Evans, 132pts
4. Oliver Rowland, 131pts
5. Jake Dennis, 113pts
14. Sébastien Buemi, 24pts
15. Robin Frijns, 23pts
22. Joel Eriksson, 2pts

Teams’ standings (after Rd 12):
1. Jaguar TCS Racing, 299pts
2. Porsche Formula E Team, 226pts
3. Nissan, 157pts
4. DS Penske, 154pts
5. Andretti Formula E 153, pts
8. Envision Racing, 49pts