Former Toro Rosso F1 driver Jean-Eric Vergne is to join Sam Bird at DS Virgin Racing for the 2015/2016 Formula E season, it has been announced.

Vergne, who finished seventh in the first season of Formula E with Andretti, joining the series from race three in Uruguay, and taking three pole positions and two podiums, replaces fellow ex-STR man Jaime Alguersuari. Alguersuari has been forced to pull out of the second season of Formula E on medical grounds.

"I am delighted to be joining the DS Virgin Racing Team at such an exciting time for the team, and also for the series given the new regulations for season two," said Vergne, who has maintained his F1 links this year, despite being dropped by Toro Rosso after inking a test deal with Ferrari.

"With the DS brand coming on board as a new partner to the team, I am looking forward to being aligned with a French, forward thinking marque. I understand that there are a number of exciting things going on behind the scenes that should ensure that we have a competitive start to the season.

"Looking back to my first race of last season where I qualified on pole, I am very excited to be getting back into a racing seat at the first race of the season in October.

"I am confident that my raw pace and appetite for success will help ensure that DS Virgin Racing continues to be one of the leading teams in Formula E."

Meanwhile, Bird, who represented Virgin in the inaugural Formula E season, finishing fifth in the championship and taking two race wins, is looking forward to continuing with the outfit.

"Last season was a learning curve but one I thoroughly enjoyed, so I'm elated to be back with the DS Virgin Racing team for the 2015/16 season," he said.

"We had two great wins last season in Malaysia and then at my home race in London, so the aim is to build on that success and have a fantastic second season in Formula E. The advancements to the car around the powertrain are really exciting so I'm looking forward to getting back behind the wheel shortly in Donington to get some good testing in before the first race in Beijing."

Team principal Alex Tai added: "We are thrilled to have retained Sam and to be able to welcome Jean-Eric to the DS Virgin Racing team for season two of the FIA Formula E championship.

"Both Sam and Jean-Eric are exceptional talents and I believe we now have one of the strongest driver pairings on the grid. I'm looking forward to being able to compete for regular honours from race to race, and following the announcement of our partnership with the DS brand at the end of last season, I am very happy that the good news for the team keeps on coming."



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