UK|12 Sep, 2017

Sam Bird season review

Only three drivers have managed to register a win in each of the three Formula E seasons – Sebastien Buemi, Lucas di Grassi and Sam Bird.

Bird’s fourth and fifth career wins came during a dream weekend in New York, where he and the DS Virgin Racing team were untouchable. That also meant for the third season in a row he went into the final event of the season with a remote mathematical chance of the title.

His chances of fighting for the title would have been boosted considerably had his second car not died on him as he pitted from the lead in the season-opener in Hong Kong. Whether Bird would have ultimately won that race is up for debate, but a trouble-free pitstop would have at least put him in the hunt and a podium finish was certainly within his grasp.

That podium duly followed in Marrakesh next time out, but the Brit was hardly jumping for joy at the end of the race having struggled to match the pace of race winner Sebastien Buemi in a straight fight.

His fears were justified as both he and team-mate Jose Maria Lopez struggled in Buenos Aires, a track where Bird has traditionally excelled. He pulled off one of the passes of the season as he took third in Mexico, but there was little cheer to be had following a pair of disappointing races in Monaco and Paris.

A brace of seventh place finishes followed in Berlin, but Bird left upbeat feeling the team had made a significant breakthrough in its understanding of the DVS-02. His optimism was rewarded in spades in New York, where he had one of the strongest individual weekends in Formula E history, dominating both races for a 53-point haul that was more than he’d scored all season up to that point!

Solid fifth and sixth-place finishes wrapped the season up in Montreal, but meant he lost out to Felix Rosenqvist in the fight for third place in the standings.