Sam Bird believes the location of the Attack Mode area at this weekend’s Hong Kong E-Prix, on the inside of the exit of the Turn 6 hairpin, will make it easy for drivers to defend from losing position.
This was the area where the Envision Virgin Racing driver executed one of the most thrilling overtaking moves of last season when he snatched the lead from Jean-Eric Vergne in the first race of the Hong Kong double header.
Bird, who is currently third in the championship standings, believes that the location of the activation loops will make it relatively simple for drivers to avoid losing position and defend on the rest of the tight 1.16-mile circuit.
“I don’t think that you will lose too much time at all by going through the attack zone and it should be easy to defend or stay in position even if someone is very close behind you,” he told e-racing365.
“Hong Kong is a track which always seems to throw up a decent race because it is tight and relatively short.
“So qualifying is going to be even more critical because overtaking will be at a massive premium even with the [attack] boost.”
Bird says that lessons learned in the last race in Mexico City have informed him and his Envision Virgin team for future races.
He started last after sustaining a problem with the driveshaft on his Audi e-tron FE05 early in his group qualifying session.
“It was interesting in Mexico starting from the very back because I ended up having a race where I hindered Daniel Abt’s race but he also did the same to me,” he said.
“This was purely on when he took his Attack Mode in comparison to when I took mine.
“He used his directly after the safety car like much of the field did and I was the last [one] in that queue to use it and he was directly behind me.
“This meant I had four laps defending from a much faster car, so used more energy than I wanted to at that stage of the race.
“We are learning new things about the racing this year and it is by no means as clear cut as it was last year, there are many different elements to it.”