A winner in every season of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship except a disappointing Season 8, Sam Bird starts his latest campaign in the all-electric street racing series hunting for what his ability and record dictates is an overdue maiden Drivers' title. Can the Jaguar TCS Racing driver, and Formula E stalwart, get his hands on the top prize in Gen3’s inaugural campaign?
Bird first appeared on the karting scene in 2002 aged 15. Following a successful two-year stint racing karts competitively in the UK and Europe, the British driver won a scholarship to race in the inaugural season of Formula BMW with Carlin Motorsport, ending the year with three wins as one of the top rookie drivers.
Bird remained in Formula BMW for a second season and eventually finishing as championship runner-up. Joining forces with Mercedes F1 for the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi, the Brit was named as their Reserve Driver for the 2011 season, helping the team with testing throughout the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Joining the ABB FIA Formula E Championship for its inaugural year in 2014, Bird was signed to Virgin Racing. Having driven for the team in every Formula E race to date, the British driver secured his best overall finish of third in the 2017/18 season, after challenging for the drivers' title against DS Techeetah's Jean-Eric Vergne and Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler's Lucas di Grassi.
Between the first and the fourth season, the British driver found himself in the final round of the series with a slim mathematical chance of winning the championship that ultimately didn't come to pass. Still searching for that all-important championship title, Bird finished his most recent all-electric campaign ninth after an underwhelming campaign with Envision Virgin Racing.
In his sixth season, the Brit once again partnered with teammate Robin Frijns. After exploding out of the blocks with a victory at the first round in Diriyah, Bird saw his efforts marred by bad luck, with two DNFs in opening five races. Unable to recapture that glory, the Brit made one more appearance on the podium taking third place in the opening race of six in Berlin and ended the season in 10th.
It was all-change for Bird heading into his seventh season, with a switch to Jaguar Racing. The Brit won in Diriyah on debut for the famous British marque and produced a stunning zero to hero drive in New York City after a practice shunt. A heartbreaking blank on home soil in London put Bird on the back foot and with what looked like a little too much to do in Berlin. A technical issue in Round 14 finally put paid to his title shot.
Season 8 was undoubtedly the Brit’s most disappointing to-date. Just 13th in the standings and 51 points was a surprise. Even more of a shock was that the ultra-experienced Formula E head failed to win in a season for the very first time. In fact, he wouldn’t take home any silverware at all. He’ll be hoping for a far stronger start to life in Gen3, and has all the tools at his disposal to nail it from the off.