Dutch racer Robin Frijns is one of those young drivers who grew up dreaming of driving Formula 1 car. Luckily for him, his dreams came true, at least partially, when he did some test drives for three Formula 1 teams – Red Bull Racing, Sauber and Caterham. Unfortunately, he hasn't achieved his final goal (to race in F1 car) and he is still dreaming about it.
Trophy collector in minor Formula racing series
Robin Frijns, born on August 7, 1991 in Maastricht (Netherlands), is one of the most talented young drivers in Europe. His collection of titles – 2010 Formula BMW Europe champion, 2011 Formula Renault 2.0 Euro Cup champion and 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion are testimony to his impressive driving skills.
Robin Frijns, 2012 Formula 3.5 Series
After karting he moved to Formula BMW
Frijns started his career in karts at the age of 14 and till 2008 he competed in various championships in Belgium and France. He finished second at the 2008 KF2 French Championship and third at the 2008 KF2 European Championship.
Robin Frijns started his career in karting
His formula racing career began in 2009 Formula BMW Europe with Josef Kaufmann racing team. 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.
First championship title in 2010
Next year, again as the JKR team driver, Robin won the Formula BMW Europe championship, with six wins and 13 podiums in 16 races. Some of the competitors, who became F1 drivers in later years, were Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kvyat. In 2010, Frijns also competed at three-race events in Formula Renault 2.0 NEC (Northern European Cup). At Spa-Francorchamps he won one race and was second and fifth in the other two races.
Formula Renault 3.5 champion in debuting season
In 2011, he went one step forward to the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup. He won the title, winning five races (plus four more podiums) over the course of a season – including both races at Silverstone – and finishing far ahead of his nearest rival Carlos Sainz Jr. and two more future F1 drivers - Daniil Kvyat and Will Stevens.
Jules Bianchi, Robin Frijns and Sam Bird
In 2012, he changed teams moving from Josef Kaufmann Racing to Fortec Motorsport, and debuted in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. He won the title at his first attempt, with three wins and nine podiums, ahead of Jules Bianchi and Sam Bird.
Controversial collision in Barcelona
The title came after a controversial collision with rival driver Jules Bianchi in the final race of the season in Barcelona. Bianchi retired and Frijns finished in seventh place, but stewards decided that he caused an avoidable collision and 25 seconds were added to his race time, demoting him to fourteenth place.
Robin Frijns celebrates his 2012 title
As Bianchi failed to score and fellow title rival Sam Bird failed to score enough points, Frijns' title remained intact. After the race, Bianchi accused Frijns of intentionally pushing him off the road, but Frijns denied that.
Two seasons as a Formula One test driver
In 2012, Frijns had an opportunity to test F1 cars of Red Bull Racing and Sauber F1 Team at the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi. The next year Sauber hired him as an official test and reserve driver. They did not want him to be without any races, so Frijns competed in the 2013 GP2 Series with Hilmer Motorsport. In 12 races he achieved one win and two podiums and finished 15th overall.
As a member of Red Bull, 2012
In the same role, as test and reserve driver, Frijns was part of the 2014 Caterham F1 Team. Unfortunately, he never had a chance to drive in any F1 race and after Caterham retired from the competition, Robin realized that his dream will probably stay a dream, nothing more.
Blancpain Sprint Series title just a step away
In 2015, Frijns converted to GT3 racing cars and he has been highly successful. He won five races in the Blancpain Sprint Series Cup, pairing with Laurens Vanthoor in the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, and finished the season as a vice-champion. In the Blancpain Endurance Series, the duo won the race at Monza and was second at Silverstone, so in the final classification Robin was sixth.
Video - Robin Frijns onboard, Beijing ePrix
Next stop - Formula E
Next challenge for 25-year old Dutchman is FIA Formula E Championship. Frijns joined Andretti Formula E team for season 2015- 2016, partnering Simona de Silvestro. He didi pretty weel as he was in points in almost every race. Frijns collected total of 45 points to finish 10th in the series while his best race result was 3rd place in Putrajaya ePrix.