Sam Bird believes he is in a strong position to fight for his maiden ABB Formula E World Championship title this weekend despite facing an uphill battle at the Berlin season-finale double-header.
Sitting third in the Drivers’ Championship, he will need to conquer a difficult Group 1 Qualifying session at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit once more and has a grid penalty for the opening race looming over his chances.
“Entering the final weekend of a Formula E season sitting third in the teams’ and drivers’ championship with Jaguar Racing is a great place to be. Saturday will be tough from Group 1 and with the penalty so I will be focused on a clean race,” he said.
Since joining Jaguar Racing at the start of the season from Envision Virgin, the British driver has endured a mixed campaign. Victories in Diriyah and New York saw him become one of three drivers to have achieved two wins this year, alongside compatriot Jake Dennis and championship leader Nyck de Vries, who sits 14 points clear.
These bookend a difficult campaign for the 34-year-old, who has recorded eight non-points scoring finishes in 13 races, two of which came last time out in London. Ramifications from his home races will continue to play out this weekend, as Bird will be forced to take a three-place grid drop for Round 14 following his collision with Norman Nato on the penultimate lap of the London E-Prix.
Nevertheless, the 11-time Formula E race winner remains optimistic about his chances of success.
“After the intensity of London, I am just going to enjoy my racing and take each session as it comes. It has been a great first year with Jaguar and we are all aiming to end on a positive,” added Bird.
Both he and teammate Mitch Evans, who sits eighth in the Drivers’ Championship, have been instrumental in securing Jaguar’s best championship points haul so far and the strong form the pair have showed have seen them retained for the 2021/22 season.
Qualifying in different groups for the opening race provides the team with the perfect opportunity to overturn the nine-point deficit to Teams’ Championship leaders Envision Virgin on 165 points and as previous season finales have shown, the fight is not over until after the chequered flag.
“I’m very proud of the progress we have made together as a team this season. Year on year we have improved and we have established ourselves as a title contending team down to the expertise, dedication and hunger of the whole team.
“We are really looking forward to giving it our all in Berlin and the challenge that lays ahead in the last two races of the season.
“We all know the unpredictability and very competitive nature of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship but if we keep pushing for points, podiums and wins anything is possible,” said Team Director James Barclay.