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Modest Bird Craving Formula E Title

Sam Bird says he would “dearly love to win a single-seater championship” during his career…

Photo: Formula E

Sam Bird says he would love to win a single-seater title before his career is over and believes he has a shot in this season’s ABB FIA Formula E Championship after a strong start to the campaign.

Bird, who has taken a win and two podiums from the first six races of the 2017-18 season, currently sits third in the points table and believes that the season finale in New York could work to his advantage.

“I would dearly love to win a single-seater championship because it has eluded me my entire career,” Bird told e-racing365.

“Is it to be this season? Time will tell and it will be extremely difficult but I suppose the good thing for me is that the last two rounds are in New York.”

Bird has been consistently strong during his Formula E career claiming six victories and finishing fifth and fourth twice in the previous seasons’ standings.

The British driver has appeared in nine of the last 12 Formula E Super Pole sessions and claimed an average of 15 points per race since the New York E-Prix weekend last July.

“The performances have been strong but actually if you look back to halfway through last year once myself and the team knew how to extract the most from our package we have been strong,” he said.

Asked if he is currently enjoying his best run of performances in Formula E Bird was typically modest, saying: “Whether it is by best vein of form in Formula E I don’t know.

“I always seem to struggle to find it within myself to talk myself up and say I am a big gun in the championship,” he admitted.

“Because if you look around you see names like [Lucas] di Grassi, [Sebastien] Buemi, [Jean-Eric] Vergne, [Felix] Rosenqvist, [Nelson] Piquet [Jr.], [Andre] Lotterer, etc., I’m just ‘Sam Bird who tries his best’ and is somewhere in that lot of names.”

Bird came tantalizingly close to winning the 2013 GP2 Series title but suffered heartbreak at the very final race of the season.

He now believes that his perception of the way his career has gone since that day has changed. Now a factory Ferrari GT driver, Bird is one of only a few drivers with two manufacturer deals in international motorsport.

“Would my career be any different now if I had won that championship [GP2]? Absolutely not, as I would still never have got a chance in Formula 1,” he said.

“It is amazing looking back now how close you feel to being in Formula 1 yet actually and realistically how far away you actually are.

“You can be a reserve driver but you will never ever set foot in a car on a race weekend. This was the case with me. It’s fine and I made my peace with that a long time ago. I love what I am doing now.”

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 Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Edward Hunter

    April 2, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Completely agree with Sam’s last point; especially when you consider that Fabio Leimer, who beat Bird to the title that season, also didn’t get a shot in F1 beyond testing for Manor in free practice. (Infact Fabio was Bird’s teammate at Virgin briefly in London season 1) Anyway Sam has had a really strong career in FE so far, despite some bad luck and mistakes he has been consistently in the title hunt going into the last double header weekend each season. It will take something special to beat Vergne and Rosenqvist this year though.

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