DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird picked up more championship points to keep up his title bid in the Formula E series during the weekend’s inaugural race in Santiago.
The British racer finished in fifth place and secured the fastest lap of the race to secure vital points to lie in third place in the drivers’ standings, with the team also at third in the team standings.
Both Bird and teammate Alex Lynn began the day strongly – Bird topped the opening practice session and Lynn finished second in the second session. In qualifying they both performed well and started with Bird in fourth and Lynn just behind in sixth.
An incident-packed first lap led to an early safety car period with Bird and Lynn in fifth and sixth. Bird worked hard on passing Sebastien Buemi but was unable to get by, while Lynn was able to hold off Lucas Di Grassi as the pit stop window approached.
In the first race without minimum pit stop times, both drivers made good stops but Lynn’s race was cut short soon after when he suffered a mechanical failure. Bird, meanwhile, pushed on and battled hard to cross the line in fifth position.
“It was a frustrating race but we still came away with good points today,” Bird said. “We tried something different with the pit stop strategies which sadly didn’t quite come off. It’s also a shame with what happened to Alex, but I know he, and the team, will come back even stronger at the next race in Mexico.”
Lynn added: “Today has been a disappointing note to end on given we were competitive all day. We were looking strong in the race and on course for good points, but the mechanical issue forced us to retire. It’s still been a great event with plenty of atmosphere and on a street track with plenty of character.”
The next round of the 2017/2018 FIA Formula E Championship takes place in Mexico City on March 3rd. Head to the DS Virgin Racing website to stay up to date with the latest news.