Robin Frijns (born 7 August 1991) is a Dutch auto racing driver. He is the 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion, and the first driver to have won the series in his debut season since Robert Kubica in 2005. Frijns is currently competing in Formula E driving for Virgin Racing. Frijns achieved his first Formula E podium finish in his second outing in the category.
Born in Maastricht, Netherlands, Frijns has been an active kart racer in Belgium and France. In 2008, he finished third in the KF2 European Championship category and runner-up in the French Championship, at the same level.
Frijns began his formula racing career in the 2009 Formula BMW Europe season with Josef Kaufmann Racing. He finished third overall in the championship, with a win at Silverstone and six podiums. He also finished as the highest-placed rookie in the championship.
Formula Renault 2.0
Frijns made his first attempt at Formula Renault 2.0, racing at the Spa-Francorchamps round of the 2010 Northern European Cup. Driving for Josef Kaufman Racing once more, Frijns finished second in the first race of the meeting, fifth in the second race, and won the third.
In 2011, Frijns joined the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship full-time, continuing to drive for Josef Kaufman Racing. He won the title on his first attempt, winning five races over the course of the season – including both races at Silverstone – and finishing forty-five points ahead of his nearest rival, Carlos Sainz Jr..
Frijns also competed in the Northern European Cup, finishing the season fourth overall, despite missing the Oschersleben, Most and Monza rounds of the championship. Over the course of the season, he won one race and finished on the podium seven times.
Formula Renault 3.5
In 2012, Frijns made the transition to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series – the highest tier of the World Series by Renault – this time racing for British team Fortec Motorsports. As in 2011, Frijns won the title on his first attempt, winning races at Motorland Aragón, the Moscow Raceway and the Hungaroring, and scoring five podiums and four poles over the course of the season.
Frijns' title came amidst controversy when he was involved in a collision with rival driver Jules Bianchi in the final race of the season in Barcelona. Bianchi passed Frijns at the start of lap 21, and he quickly came under more pressure from Carlin driver Kevin Magnussen. Magnussen made an attempt to pass Frijns at the Repsol corner, but Frijns moved to block him. The move forced Bianchi wide, and he skirted across the gravel trap and into the wall and retirement. Frijns went on to finish the race in seventh place, but race stewards decided that he had caused an avoidable collision and twenty-five seconds were added to his race time, demoting him to fourteenth place. As Bianchi had failed to score, and fellow title rival Sam Bird had failed to score enough points, Frijns' title remained intact. In the days following the meeting, Bianchi accused Frijns of intentionally running him off the road, a charge which Frijns denied.
After the end of 2012, Frijns announced that he would not compete in Formula Renault 3.5 in 2013 and after his announcement at Sauber as test driver, his new team expressed their desire for Frijns to be racing in 2013 as he would not be testing for them full-time in 2013.
After an impressive test with Mercedes' DTM team, Frijns was not offered a drive with the manufacturer. Frijns instead opted to try for a GP2 seat, and tested with veteran team Trident Racing and new team Russian Time. Frijns showed impressive pace and Trident's team principal Maurizio Salvadori praised him and stated his intentions to have Frijns race for the team. However a lack of funding put him on the sidelines for the start of 2013 in Malaysia.
Before the second race in Bahrain, Frijns announced that he would race with new-for-2013 team Hilmer for the second event of the season, replacing Conor Daly and partnering Pål Varhaug. Frijns qualified in a very respectable 10th position ahead of pre-season favourite James Calado, but struggled to adapt to the new Pirelli tyres in the races, before a collision in the first race with Stéphane Richelmi whilst in a points-scoring position compromised his weekend. Team principal Franz Hilmer however was impressed with Frijns and hoped he could compete full-time with the team in 2013.
In only his second weekend, Frijns took a win and a second place at Circuit de Catalunya supporting the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix.
On 18 October 2012, Sauber announced that Frijns will be driving their car during the third round of Young Drivers Test in Abu Dhabi alongside the team's testing and reserve driver Esteban Gutiérrez. As the highest-placed Formula Renault driver not attached to any established Formula One team, Frijns was also added to Red Bull Racing's line-up for the test.
Reflecting on Frijns' 2012 season, ESPN commentator Ben Evans opined that "anything less than a Formula One race seat next year would be a travesty".
On 23 November 2012, it was announced that Robin Frijns would become part of Sauber, and would serve as test and reserve driver in 2013.
On 21 January 2014, Frijns confirmed that he will be a reserve driver for Caterham in the 2014 season.
Sports car racing
In 2015, Frijns joined Belgium Belgian Audi Club Team WRT to drive an Audi R8 at the Blancpain GT Series, partnering with Laurens Vanthoor and Jean-Karl Vernay.
On 24 August 2015, it was announced that Frijns would partner fellow former Sauber test driver Simona de Silvestro at Andretti for the 2015–16 Formula E season. He came 10th in his first race and scored a podium in Putrajaya. Frijns finished in the points in the following two races making him the first Formula E rookie to finish his first four races in the top 10. After four races, Frijns had scored all of Andretti's points tally of 21. He finished 12th in the standings.
Frijns was retained by Andretti for the 2016-17 Formula E season and partnered Antonio Felix da Costa.
Frijns joined Virgin Racing for the 2018-2019 Formula E season, partnered by Sam Bird.
Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters
On 29 January 2018, it was announced that Frijns will drive for Audi Sport in the 2018 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, replacing Mattias Ekström, who elected to focus solely on the FIA World Rallycross Championship.
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