Sam Bird will join Panasonic Jaguar Racing for season seven of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship after the Brit and Envision Virgin Racing reached a joint decision to part ways at the end of the season, freeing up the multiple race-winner for the switch.
Panasonic Jaguar Racing announced the move today, with Bird set to link-up with his new team at the end of this season.
The 33-year-old is one of a select group of drivers to have competed in every Formula E race since the series' inception in 2014, tallying nine wins, 18 podiums, five pole positions and five fastest laps to-date.
Bird remains fully committed to Envision Virgin Racing for the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign, and will join Robin Frijns for the intense nine-day six-race finale at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport on August 5.
“Over the years, this team has become more like a family to me and has been a huge part of my racing career," said Bird. "Many will know that the team and Formula E resurrected my racing career and for that I am eternally grateful.
"I have so many memories and highlights – both on and off-track – to look back on and I really hope there’s still a few more to come in Berlin before I embark on the next chapter of my racing career. For sure, there is likely to be a tear in my eye come that final race.”
"I have so many memories and highlights – both on and off track – to look back on and I really hope there’s still a few more to come in Berlin before I embark on the next chapter of my racing career. For sure, there is likely to be a tear in my eye come that final race.”
Envision Group’s Franz Jung and Chairman of the Board of Envision Virgin Racing added: “I’d like to extend my thanks to Sam for his fantastic team contribution over the past six seasons.
"Of course, before then, we have plenty of racing to do with six events in nine days in Berlin, and I know Sam, Robin and everyone in the team will be putting in the hard work to ensure we finish the season strongly.”
Looking ahead to season seven, Bird speaks with enthusiasm about his prospects and the opportunity to represent an 'iconic British brand' in Jaguar.
“I am really looking forward to a new chapter in my Formula E career with Panasonic Jaguar Racing," he said. "I have watched Jaguar’s growth and progress in the series and am very proud to be driving for an iconic British brand with such a successful racing DNA and joining an incredible list of drivers that have raced for the brand.
"I am incredibly hungry for success and I believe that together with Mitch we can achieve great things for the team and ourselves.
"Since the start of Formula E, Sam has demonstrated that he is one of the very best drivers in the championship and we believe that together we will form a great partnership."
"I want to thank Envision Virgin Racing for everything we have achieved together and wish them well for the future. After Berlin, I can’t wait to test the Jaguar I-TYPE and be in the best place possible for season seven and beyond.”
“On behalf of the entire Panasonic Jaguar Racing Formula E team and everyone at Jaguar we would like to welcome Sam to the family," added James Barclay, Panasonic Jaguar Racing Team Director.
"Since the start of Formula E, Sam has demonstrated that he is one of the very best drivers in the championship and we believe that together we will form a great partnership.
"With Mitch and Sam, we believe that we have arguably one of the strongest driver line-ups on the grid. With extremely close competition, it is clear that to be successful in Formula E you need two drivers who can be competing for podiums at every race.
"We now have two proven race winners that are capable of enabling us to challenge for both team and driver championship titles next season."
Published on 14th July 2020