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Bird: NYC Track Changes “Difficult” and “Frustrating”

Sam Bird concerned that changes made to the New York track will favor Jean-Eric Vergne…

Photo: Formula E

Sam Bird thinks that changes to the Red Hook circuit in New York this weekend could decrease his chances of taking the fight to points leader Jean-Eric Vergne.

The track, which was initially 1.21 miles in length, has been extended to 1.48 miles featuring 17 corners as opposed to the original design which had 13.

The four new corners replaced the original Turn 6 hairpin, meaning that drivers now turn left into a shallower hairpin which comes before a pair of 90-degree right-hand corners before the back straight.

DS Virgin Racing driver Bird dominated both of last year’s New York E-Prix races and also took pole for the second encounter.

“I’ve done a few sim sessions and we have done a lot of homework before this weekend,” Bird told e-racng365.
“The track has changed and it will make it more difficult for us as a team for sure.

“It could be like Berlin for us, which is frustrating because we went to New York last year and it was great. If they had kept the track the same then we could have a real fight.”

With the New York races this weekend set at 45 and 43 laps respectively, Bird is concerned about the ‘efficiency endurance’ element of current Formula E races. He also alluded to the recent advantage held by Audi over the duration of a race.

“When you try and push the boundaries with efficiency so much we know there is only one powertrain that can do it, then there are another couple are just behind then there is us who are not the best with the efficiency so it makes it difficult for us and frustrating for me,” he said.

“It will be one of the longest races in Formula E history again but if that is what they want to do, then that is what they want to do.

“But we are here to fight and anything can happen. Every race we have had this season has sprung a surprise somewhere along the way.”

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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