Q&A WITH SAM BIRD
In less than a month, Sam Bird will take to the track to begin his fourth consecutive Formula E season with the Virgin Racing team. The Briton – who is the third highest Formula E points scorer for all time – outlined his thoughts ahead of the season opener in Hong Kong…
You are one of the most experienced drivers in Formula E competing in all 33 race starts. What do you think of the direction and the progress of the championship?
I have been involved in Formula E since day one and I have to say I am quite proud of what we have achieved in such a short space of time. I truly believe that Formula E is having a real impact in terms of promoting the message of sustainable mobility by bringing great racing to the people in some of the coolest and most iconic cities in the world.
In three seasons, you have won several races and achieved several podiums. How do you feel going into season four?
As always, it’s very difficult to predict what will happen ahead of the start to a new season. We had a good home stretch towards the end of last season with some strong results in the last few races, which gave us a solid platform to work from in preparation for season four. On the other hand, you are never sure of the progress made by other teams, so we’ll have to wait and see. For sure we have a good package and we’ll always come out fighting.
Hong Kong didn’t end as you had planned last time around – how do you plan to turn that around?
For sure, Hong Kong didn’t go as expected but our pace was very strong and everything was positive until the mid-race phase. The ambition for us in Hong Kong this year is to be competitive and get some points under our belt early on, we’ll then see where we go from there regarding the rest of the season.
How have you been preparing during the off season?
I’ve prepared in several ways in the off-season. Both Alex [Lynn] and I have completed a lot of laps in the simulator and we’ve also had successful test days. This intertwined with my participation in WEC has allowed me to prepare well – both physically and mentally – for the forthcoming season and I’m ready to race.
Speaking of your new team-mate, what are your thoughts on Alex Lynn?
Alex is a very naturally talented driver and a great team-mate; I’m happy that he has joined us full-time at Virgin Racing. I’ve worked with Alex since 2010, having also been his driver coach before so it is nice to see him doing so well and to have him alongside me for season four.
The opening rounds of the 2017/2018 FIA Formula E Championship take place on 2/3 December.