Sam Bird’s last win in Formula E came 11 races ago on the championship's previous visit to Diriyah, and this result sees the Brit extend his unique streak of a victory in every season to-date. It also draws him level with Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler) in second on the all-time winners’ table with 10 victories.
Bird got the better of Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin Racing) - his former teammate - as the two engaged in a race-long back and forth under the floodlights. The Brit eventually prevailed as the race was drawn to a premature close via a red flag, and Bird couldn't have been happier with his first event with the team.
The opening rounds of Season 7 of the ABB @FIAFormulaE World Championship did not disappoint 🏆— Jaguar Racing (@JaguarRacing) March 3, 2021
➡️ First night race
➡️ First win for @sambirdofficial in Jaguar Racing colours
➡️ 2 podiums
➡️ 1 team
All eyes turn to Rome as we prepare to take on Round 3 in the Italian capital 🇮🇹pic.twitter.com/PSutdryqym
"I was a bit emotional in the car," said Bird. "It was a big move and a big step for me moving away from what was my family in Envision Virgin Racing to join Jaguar Racing, but they've welcomed me with open arms and taught me new things - I'm thrilled to deliver this win.
"The whole point of the opening two rounds was to come here and score decent points and if you'd said I'd come away with 25 points, I'd have taken that. Robin was so respectful and a pleasure to race against which is exactly what you'd expect of his calibre. It was really, really good.
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"We’ve worked really hard together during the pre-season and although there were some challenges, we’ve worked for this result. This is for everyone – not only for the people in Riyadh, but for the team back at the factory and everyone at Jaguar who have tirelessly worked on this project. We walk away from this weekend in a strong position and I look forward to racing on the city streets of Rome."
That race two result - following Mitch Evans' third spot in Round 1 - ensured Jaguar would head to Rome on April 10 at the top of the Teams' standings, much to the delight of Team Principal James Barclay.
“What an absolutely fantastic way to start the season – two podiums in two races, a third place and a win is a really brilliant start for Jaguar in this most incredibly competitive world championship.
"It’s a real testament to the hard work and the expertise of the team that have worked together on all aspects of performance including the new Jaguar I-TYPE 5. It’s great to be leaving Saudi Arabia leading the championship and we’ll be working hard to continue this positive momentum into Rome.”
Those results see Jaguar Racing leave Diriyah top of the Teams' Championship, with Bird second in the Drivers' running.