Current W Series championship leader Alice Powell has been announced as Simulator and Development Driver for Envision Virgin Racing in Formula E.
W Series race winner and current championship leader Alice Powell has been announced as part of the Envision Virgin Racing Formula E team in a simulator and development driver role.
Powell, 28, has previously worked with the team in early 2020, when she was part of the Rookie Test in Marrakech and was scheduled to run in this year's test before the event was called off due to the pandemic.
“I am really happy to be joining the Envision Virgin Racing team”, said the Briton, fresh from her victory in the home race at the British GP. “I have already worked with quite a few of the guys when I did my Rookie Test in 2020 and I am super excited to be part of such a fantastic team." – she added.
"I’ve seen how hard everyone works at the factory and to have this opportunity to help the team, who have a great driver line-up as well in Robin [Frijns] and Nick [Cassidy], is incredible."
“We have a great car and great drivers, and I am very proud to be able to support the team in the simulator and contribute to the results.”
Powell made history when she became the first woman to win a Formula Renault Championship in 2010 and had her international breakthrough in 2012 in GP3 Series – now rebranded FIA Formula 3 - where she also was the first woman to score points, finishing eighth in Monza.
After a long hiatus due to budget difficulties, Powell has seen her career revamped and brought back into the limelight after the inaugural W Series in 2019, where she secured 4 podiums and one victory, finishing third in the championship standings.
Powell's talent was never into question, but the newly found visibility gained her a one-off in IMSA and a full time seat in the 2020 Jaguar IPace eTrophy, on the support schedule of Formula E.
Since W Series' return to the track in 2021, the British racer has been the driver to beat in the all-female series, winning in dominant fashion the opening round in Austria and the British GP at Silverstone.
By joining Envision Virgin Racing in Formula E, Alice Powell becomes the second woman in a development driver role, alongside Porsche's Simona De Silvestro. It is great news for the championship, which established a Rookie Test day for female drivers in 2018 but no woman has actually been promoted to a race seat since then. Katherine Legge and Michela Cerruti raced in the 2014-15 season, while De Silvestro remains the last woman to have entered a Formula E race in 2015-16 (Season 2).
“I am delighted to welcome Alice to the team", said Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director and CTO at Envision Virgin Racing. "We have already seen her performance and what she can deliver during the Rookie Test she did with us and are very pleased to have her onboard."
“She brings with her a lot of skill, determination, and some fantastic experience behind the wheel. I have no doubt that she will constitute a very valuable asset for us, and the team is looking forward to working with her”, concluded Filippi.