It was a dramatic opening to the fourth season of Formula E this weekend in Hong Kong, which saw DS Virgin Racing driver Sam Bird finish the doubleheader weekend in first place in the drivers’ standings.
After crossing the line in first place, 11 seconds ahead of the next driver, in the first race on Saturday, Bird maintained his good fortune and came fifth on Sunday.
Bird was a worthy victor on Saturday, having battled back to the front of the pack after a pit stop issue looked to have cost him the trophy and his 11-second margin was the second largest ever seen in the Formula E championship.
Sunday’s race wasn’t without its excitement either. Started by the safety car after an issue with the start lights, Bird quickly gained ground from his 13th position start to be within the points. Teammate Alex Lynn had similar luck, managing his energy well in the first half of Sunday’s race to pit a lap after the majority of the field.
Both drivers continued to push but overtaking was difficult and with Lynn running low on useable energy, he lost a couple of positions to cross the line in 10th place, with Bird ahead in sixth.
However, a post-race investigation excluded Sunday’s race winner Daniel Abt, promoting both drivers one place and putting Bird in first position in the drivers’ standings, with Lynn in ninth place and DS Virgin Racing in second place in the team standings.
Summing up his weekend, Sam Bird said: “It’s been a very encouraging weekend for DS Virgin Racing and myself. It’s been a great couple of rounds for the team. Thank you to everyone for working so hard over the summer break and we’re looking forward to going into round three focused and ready to battle for more podiums.”
Alex Lynn added: “We’ve come away in a strong position and a lot of respect has to go to the team for their hard work behind the scenes. Sam and I performed well this weekend and congratulations to him for the win. We had a good recovery drive yesterday and today we qualified fifth so was disappointing not to finish there, but we move on and look to build on this for Marrakesh.”
Team Principal Alex Tai commented: “To be in this position after the opening rounds is fantastic. The results demonstrate the strength and ability of our drivers, the car and the whole of the DS Virgin Racing team, and we head into the New Year in a very strong position.”
The Formula E championship returns in the new year with round three in Marrakesh on January 13th.