DS Virgin Racing have signed Alex Lynn as their reserve and development driver in a multi-year deal. The 23-year-old British driver has been focusing his sights on entering the Formula E championship for the last year, having previously held talks with Renault e.dams and tested with Panasonic Jaguar Racing at Donington Park.
“Formula E is arguably the most competitive motor racing championship in the world, with the highest calibre of drivers,” said Lynn, today, “As a driver I want to be competing in the top series, which is why I’ve been trying so hard to get into Formula E, and DS Virgin was my first choice. So I’m delighted to have signed a multi-year deal.
“I like the combination of street racing along with the challenge of energy management. I think this series is going to suit me down to the ground. I look forward to working with Sam and Jose in testing and development of the cars and at the DS Performance sim in Satory.”
Alex’s career has so far been focused on climbing the ranks with a view to securing a seat in Formula One. After winning the 2011 Formula Renault UK title, he made the step up to Formula Three for the next two years. He would finish third in the championship in 2013 behind Raffaele Marciello and Felix Rosenqvist before stepping up to the Formula One support series package with a move to GP3 in 2014 with backing from Red Bull.
Lynn stamped his authority on the championship at the first opportunity, winning his first two feature races at the Circuit de Catalunya and the Red Bull Ring with pole position and the fastest lap to boot. He would go on to take another win in the sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps, eventually securing the championship in Abu Dhabi ahead of fellow countryman Dean Stoneman.
The natural move to GP2 would follow for 2015, with Lynn joining DAMS for a two-year stay. A brace of sixth place championship finishes would be his slightly disappointing takeaway from the series, with only five wins coming over the span of 43 races.
During his time in GP2, Lynn would also sign for Williams Martini Racing as a Formula One development driver; thus ending his involvement in the Red Bull young driver programme. He took part in multiple mid-season test sessions for the team, but a race seat would fail to materialise.
“I’m delighted we have acquired a driver of the calibre and potential of Alex Lynn,” said DS Virgin Racing’s team principal, Alex Tai, It is a testament to the strength of Formula E that we’re now attracting drivers like Alex and it speaks volumes that Alex has chosen DS Virgin Racing as his team. We’re excited to see what he’s capable of in our car.”
Lynn’s role will primarily see him involving in tests, both on track and in simulators. However, there is rather feasible chance that he could compete in two rounds of this year’s championship. Both Sam Bird and Jose Maria Lopez also race in the World Endurance Championship, which is set to have two clashes with the Formula E calendar this year. The Mexico ePrix is currently scheduled at the same time as WEC’s pre-season test, with the New York ePrix later on in the year currently clashing with the Nurburgring round of WEC.
Should either driver be unable to make it to those two races, Alex Lynn will be called up to drive as he is now their reserve driver. That said, Lynn is also looking for a WEC role of some kind to partner up with his new Formula E position. He is hoping to be on the grid at the series’ opening round at Silverstone but it is not known if any deal will be full-time.
In the meantime, the next round of the 2016/2017 Formula E world championship takes place in Buenos Aires on February 18th. DS Virgin Racing will arrive in Argentina as the defending race winners after Sam Bird took victory there one year ago.
Featured image courtesy of FIAFormulaE.com – http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/january/alex-lynn-joins-ds-virgin-as-development-driver/