Speed Demons and Dream Teams: Envision Racing

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Here’s the second edition of our series dedicated to the teams and drivers of Formula E, and today, we’re tackling Envision Racing.

Credit: Formula E Media Bank / Sam Bloxham

The second edition of our Speed Demons and Dream Teams series, so we’re here to talk about the team currently occupying second in the championship standings, and that is Envision Racing. Here, you can find some information on the teams background, as well as biographies of their two drivers: Sebastien Buemi and Nick Cassidy. Hope you’re as excited as we are, so let’s send it!

Envision Racing is one of the two British teams in the championship that have been participating in Formula E since the inaugural 2014/15 season. First branded as Virgin Racing, before the switch in 2018/19 season to Envision (after taking the name from a crucial sponsor Envision Energy, a Chinese wind turbine manufacturer), the team had many ups and downs over the years of racing in the electric championship. In their first season, Envision Racing finished fifth overall in the standings. They then went on to achieve a third-place finish in the 2015/16 season, followed by a fourth-place finish in 2016/17. The next two season seen the team secure third-place in standings, followed by another fourth place in 2019/20. Seasons 2020/21 and 2021/22 meant not only Envision rebrand from Virgin, but also securing 5th in the teams standings.

Over the years, Envision used powertrains from DS and Audi, but this season they switched to Jaguar, becoming more-or-less a customer of Jaguar TCS Racing. Throughout their stint in Formula E, the team has been represented by many drivers – notably by Sam Bird (who then left to Jaguar), Jean-Eric Vergne (who left for Teechetah and DS Penske), Robin Frijns (currently ABT Cupra) who was joined in 2020/21 season by Nick Cassidy, the Super Formula champion who still races with the team now. For 2022/23 Cass has been joined by one of the most established drivers in the championship – Sebastien Buemi.

The team is managed by the team principal, managing director and CTO Sylvain Filippi, a Parisian who started his automotive career by working for Mercedes-Benz and Smart before moving to London in 2007 to pursue automotive consulting, that lead him to work on several EV projects for various manufacturers. He joined Virgin from the very beginning in 2013 as a founding member, before stepping into his Managing Director and CTO role that he currently upholds. So far in Season 9, the team is currently second in the championship standings, thanks to strong performances from both of the drivers as well as finding a golden solution for taming the Jaguar power-train and extracting the most out of it, something that even the factory team has been struggling with this year.

Sebastien Buemi

Born in 1988, Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi is amongst the most experienced drivers in Formula E, starting his stint in electric racing in 2014/15 season, racing for e.dams. He won the championship title in 2015/16, ahead of Lucas Di Grassi by one point.

He began his racing career at the age of 8, three years after getting his first kart. He raced in German Formula BMW Championship in 2004, where he finished third in his inaugural season, just behind the future Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel. Although he was given the opportunity to drive an Arrows F1 car at the tender age of 15, it wasn’t until 2009 that Buemi made his Formula One debut, following a season in the F3 Euro Series in 2006, where he finished 12th overall, and a debut in GP2 in 2007. Toro Rosso recognized Buemi’s talent and signed him later in 2009, making him the first Swiss driver to race in Formula One since 1995. He finished his debut Grand Prix in Melbourne in the points in 7th. Buemi was part of the Toro Rosso team until the end of the 2011 season when he teamed up with Jean-Eric Vergne. Even though he did not make another competitive appearance for the team, Buemi still has ties to the Red Bull outfit as their reserve driver. Buemi also participates in the World Endurance Championship with Toyota, where he won the world championship in 2014, and triumphed at the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hour race. After securing three teams’ championship titles for Renault e.dams, Buemi joined the e.dams team under the new name of Nissan e.dams for its debut season in Formula E, partnering with Oliver Rowland. The 2018 season saw Sébastien conclude the championship in 2nd, and in the 2019/20 season he finished in 4th. After a few difficult seasons, Buemi made the switch to Envision for Season 9, to partner Nick Cassidy. Buemi has achieved tremendous success in Formula E, holding the record for the most wins and an impressive number of Julius Baer Pole Positions.

Credit: Formula E Media Bank / Carl Bingham

Nick Cassidy

Born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, Cassidy began karting at the age of just six years old. Although he joined the Formula E grid only in 2020/21, he collected many impressive achievements beforehand. The laid back-funny Kiwi is a former Super Formula champion, as well as one of the most successful drivers in the history of the Toyota Racing Series and even secured the coveted ‘triple crown’ of Japanese motorsport titles. He raced in Formula Renault and Formula Three before making the move to Japan, where he raced in both open wheel and GT racing through the Super Formula and Super GT championships.

He enjoyed a successful rookie season in Formula E by scoring podiums in Mexico and New York, as well as two pole positions. He ended his first Formula E season only 23 points short of the World Championship winning driver. In Season 8, he continued to show proper pace, with a sensational victory in New York E-Prix from pole position, followed by another podium in London and consistent point scoring. So far in Season 9, Cassidy is 5th in the Championship standings, ahead of his teammate Buemi, after great performances in Hyderabad and Cape Town, that seen him secure P2 and P3 respectively. The New Zealander shows plenty of promise for the remaining of the season, and if he keeps his consistency going, we’ll surely see him race in the front of the pack.

Credit: Formula E Media Bank / Sam Bloxam

Will Envision be capable of challenging Porsche and fighting in the front? After the first few races of the season, it seems like Envision has found their groove and won’t give up without putting up a good fight. We’re curious to know what you think – what’s your opinion on the drivers? And if you’re a fan – what are your favorite fun facts about them? We’re looking forward to reading the comments.

For now – enjoy the race, wherever you are ✨