DS Virgin Racing boss Alex Tai has hailed his team’s and Sam Bird’s seventh ABB FIA Formula E Championship win at the Rome E-Prix on Saturday.
Bird capitalized on Felix Rosenqvist’s retirement to complete his second win of the season and cut Jean-Eric Vergne’s championship lead to 18 points.
“The ‘Sam-talent’ factor told today because he managed everything beautifully,” Tai told e-racing365. “It was a really well executed win, textbook in fact.
“We know he can deliver several times over the course of a season.”
Tai described how, despite not having the quickest car compared to Rosenqvist this weekend, Bird made the most of the Swede’s misfortune to grab the maximum points score.
“I think we have seen from the first part of this season that the Mahindra machine is quick and we know Felix is a super talented driver so that combination is always going to be a threat,” said Tai.
“What you saw in the early stages was two very impressive drivers and with the experience that Felix has, he is a fierce competitor.
“Maybe we didn’t have the same pace today but Felix lives a little more on the edge and as we have seen he can make mistakes.”
DS Virgin also stayed in touch with Techeetah in the teams’ championship after both operations netted 25 points each after today’s race.
Bird himself believed that second place was the maximum possible in the early running and described his capability to catch Rosenqvist after the car swaps at mid-distance.
“When I saw the pace of Felix in the race, I thought the best I could hope for was 18 points,” said Bird.
“At the end of the first stint, he was struggling a bit more adjusting his brake bias, and I was able to catch him, which was great.
“I don’t know what happened, it didn’t look like he hit a wall or anything.
“Apparently he hit a curb too hard, which has broken the suspension and is a shame for him.”