Sam Bird and Mitch Evans have broadly agreed that their incident during yesterday’s second Diriyah E-Prix was a racing incident.
The pair were fighting over fourth place when they came to blows at Turn 4 after the bunching of the battle ahead of them between Antonio Felix da Costa and Lucas di Grassi.
This resulted in Bird trying to put a move on di Grassi’s Audi but the Virgin driver’s effort saw him run slightly wide which allowed Evans a chance to attempt a move which led to contact.
“There was a bit of a scrap going on ahead of us with Antonio [Felix da Costa] and Lucas [di Grassi] which really compromised both Sam and I,” Evans told e-racing365.
“Sam opted to go on the outside of Lucas out of Turn 1 into 2, and then there was space for me, so I got my nose in there.
“I felt like I was alongside enough to stay there, I had the right to stay there, and he knew that he couldn’t afford to go off-line because he was going to go off and maybe get into the dust and the wall.
“I’ve watched the replay, I’ve also just talked to Sam. I think a racing incident is probably fair, considering the circumstances that he knew if he gave me a lot more room, he probably was screwed, but I feel like I had the right to keep where I was.”
While Evans continued, Bird’s suspension was broken before he was hit again by the following Mahindra of Pascal Wehrlein.
“I think it’s just an unfortunate situation,” the Envision Virgin driver told e-racing365.
“The track pinches you there and its single-file. I was right behind Lucas, and I certainly wasn’t going to give track position.
“But he [Evans] didn’t want to back off either, so two into one doesn’t go. It was a shame because I think we were on for another podium today.”