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.
He currently drives for Audi in the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) and for Virgin Racing in the Formula E. Previusly, he was successful in GT races. Most recently, he won Bathurst 12 Hour in 2018 and Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup in 2017.
Earlier in a career, Frijns was a champion in several open-wheel competitions (Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup, Formula BMW Europe).
Trophy collector in junior Formula competitions
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.
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.
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.
Robin Frijns started his career in karting
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.
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.
Jules Bianchi, Robin Frijns 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.
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.
Robin Frijns celebrates his 2012 title
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.
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.
Robin Frijns as Red Bull Racing's test driver
Switching to GT racing in 2015 with Audi
In 2015, Frijns converted to GT3 racing cars and he has been highly successful. He won five races in the Blancpain Sprint Series Cup in the #1 Audi R8 LMS ultra, pairing with Laurens Vanthoor in the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, and finished the season as a vice-champion.
Theyalso raced in the #1 Audi in selected races of the Blancpain Endurance Series. The duo won the race at Monza and was second at Silverstone, so in the final classification Robin was sixth.
Frijns spent two Formula E seasons with Andretti
Two seasons in the Formula E Championship
Next challenge for the Dutchman wad the FIA Formula E Championship. Frijns joined Andretti Formula E team for season 2015- 2016. He did 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.
He stayed with Andretti in the 2016-2017 Formula E season. This time, he wasn't better than sixth in two races, finishing the season in 13th place.
Robin Frijns (right) and Stuart Leonard
Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup champion in 2017
Parallel to his FE commitments, Frijns continued to race with Audi in different GT competitions and endurance races. His most notable result in 2016 was a victory at Sepang 12 Hours.
In 2017, he won the championship title in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup, although he missed one round. In eight races, he scored two wins and two more podiums in the #17 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS, sharing a car with Stuart Leonard.
Robin Frijns is a rookie in the DTM in 2018
DTM rookie with Audi in 2018
In 2018, Audi recruited Frijns to drive for the team in the DTM, as a replacement for Mattias Ekstrom who left the series. Robin was driving the #4 Audi RS5 DTM, scoring two podiums and finishing 13th in the points. Outside DTM, he regularly competed with Audi in GT races. In February, he won Bathurst 12 Hour in the #37 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS, sharing a car with Dries Vanthoor and Stuart Leonard.
Frijns returned to Formula E for the season 2018-2019, joning Virgin Racing. During the season, he was a race winner two times, in Paris and New York, finishing fourth in the final standinsg. In the DTM, Frijns stayed in the #4 Audi in 2019. He reached four podiums to finish fifth in the final standings.