DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird is targeting a top-three finish in the upcoming FIA Formula E Championship season, after missing out on the overall podium in last season’s championship chase.
The Englishman, who scored a pair of wins in Season Three, believes the Anglo-French squad can take the fight to three-time and defending champions Renault e.dams, as well as the restructured Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team, which took Lucas di Grassi claim the drivers’ title last season.
“We’re going to be aiming for top three in the manufacturers’ standings and I’m going to be aiming for top three in the drivers’ standings,” Bird told e-racing365. “Whether that’s realistic or not, I don’t know.
“We came close to achieving those things the last two years it would be extremely tough but why not giving it a go.”
DS Virgin narrowly missed out on third in the title race last season to Mahindra Racing, courtesy to a storming close to the season for Felix Rosenqvist, who scored four podium finishes out of the final six races, despite Bird’s sweep of the weekend in New York.
With a relatively unchanged package from Season Three, Bird admits they’ll likely have to again work to achieve results on the track.
“For us, not so much has changed,” he said. “Other teams have taken a step forward. We’re refining our current system from Season Three so there was not too many things to change from our side.
“We worked on all aspects of the car – software, hardware, tires, we worked on everything.
“Obviously, Alex [Lynn] coming on board is a good addition to the team. I think everything else is pretty similar so if we work in a good way, we should be in decent shape.”
At the same time Bird seemed unfazed by rumors linking Virgin’s primary technical partner DS Performance with a switch to the Techeetah outfit for Season Five.
DS Virgin team principal Alex Tai told e-racing365 last week that there are multiple options for his team following the coming season.
“I continue to do my job with the team I have currently and what the bosses decide is out of my control,” Bird said.
“I go racing regardless and I continue to work in a positive and ambitious way.”
Bird Prefers Pit Stops to Stay
Bird, meanwhile, said he’d like to keep pit stops as part of Formula E races when the championship switches to one race per car in Season Five.
“I would like pits stops to throw things up in the air, to add an element of strategic play. It’s always exciting but it’s for the bosses to decide ultimately,” he said.
Formula E and the FIA are currently formulating plans for the future race formats, which could introduce a number of radical concepts that are currently under evaluation.