Sam Bird made history for DS Virgin Racing in Rome this weekend, taking first place in the inaugural Formula E race in the city.
Picking up his seventh win in the series to date, Bird moved into second place in the championship standings. Resisting a late charge by Lucas di Grassi in the closing stages, Bird took victory after Felix Rosenqvist was forced to retire after breaking his rear-left suspension.
After the race, Bird admitted that he didn’t expect to win when he saw the Rosenqvist’s pace. “I was able to catch him towards the end of the first stint but there were some quick cars behind me,” he said. “It was a shame what happened to Felix in the second stint, but it gave me the lead so was a case of just getting my head down and not making any mistakes. The team has done a great job today and we’re all looking forward to the Paris race in two weeks’ time.”
Bird’s teammate had a frustrating weekend, however. Despite showing strong pace, Alex Lynn got caught up in race incidents, which forced him to retire for only the second time this season. He said: “It’s certainly been a frustrating weekend on my side of the garage, but I’m obviously delighted for Sam and for the team. The pace was there but it just didn’t quite come together today. For sure we’ll go away and come back fighting again for the next European race in Paris.”
Team Principal Alex Tai added: “I’m delighted for Sam and for the team. The Rome event has been fantastic so huge credit to Formula E. Sam does have a habit of winning on new tracks – like his double victory at the inaugural New York race last year – or maybe it was the blessing from the Pope! Either way, we’re delighted and grateful to the whole team for their continuous hard work. Of course, it’s been a frustrating one for Alex but he’s a great driver and I know he’ll bounce back.”
The Formula E Championship returns on April 28th in Paris. Head to the DS Virgin Racing website for all the latest Formula E news.