Verge were lucky enough to be invited out by The DS Virgin Formula E race team to join them for the Monaco ePrix.
Instantly upon arrival you can feel the excitement from locals and fans alike. Team colours were on display and there was an electric (excuse the pun) atmosphere on show. Kick start the trip with a boat ride (why not, it would be rude not to) with DS Virgin’s two racing drivers, Sam Bird and Jose Maria Lopez (Pechito). Both drivers appeared to be very relaxed given it was the eve of such a special race! Sam Bird has previously raced at Monaco in other race formats and has even gone on to win!
Having won here with GP2 it holds special memories.
Pechito a rather huge personality in his home country of Argentina and very popular in motor sport having won the world touring car championship 3 times explained his love for the sport how he enjoys the interaction with fans via the Fan boost. Fan boost gives the fans a chance to comment via social media with dedicated hashtags a month prior to the race. The comments are then counted all the way up to the start of the race. The top 3 drivers with the most comments are given an added boost of power from 200kw to 240kw.
I think it is a clever idea and very special for the fans, it’s great for them to feel involved in the race.
By now the mood had picked up around the DS Virgin camp and everyone was all hands on deck but there was this still sense of calmness at The DS Virgin garage. Drivers and team members still spending time interacting with fans and sporting personalities before a vital qualifying session. The crowds were picking up and a few familiar faces were joining the party from Noel Edmunds to Naomi Campbell. You got the sense that Formula E had already started picking up a very interesting spectatorship.
Having been shown around the pit lane we were stopped rather sharply by what can only be described as a man mountain in a suit, which was fitting as he was protecting the main man himself Prince Albert.
Sam Bird went on to qualify in 10th place with Jose in 6th not quite where they thought they would start in the pack but never the less they still had a fire in their belly and were confident that they could get up there to challenge for a podium spot!
Sadly it wasn’t meant to be, with Jose being crushed both sides and having to come into the pit early. This placed him at the back of the show and Sam Bird having tyre trouble saw him crash into a barrier. Both drivers however showed immense persistance and refused to give up thus managing to get back on the track to put on a show for their fans. Sam Bird even managed to grab the fastest lap of the race! (An important factor in Formula E as you are still awarded with a trophy and an important championship point).
After what can only be described as a great weekend that was set up and executed superbly by the DS Virgin team we can officially say Formula E has an exciting future ahead and the team have a lot of talented members that we will be sure to support as they rise through the ranks.