Sam Bird claimed his first GP2 Podium during the final race of the 2009/2010 Championship, which supported the opening round of the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain.

Bird, who raced alongside Jules Bianchi in the 8 race series at ART Grand Prix, took second place behind DPR's Giacomo Ricci, after a recovery drive during the feature race.

For the seventh round of the series, Bird suffered some major clutch problems and slipped down to 20th place, but fought back and ended the 29 lap feature race in sixth place.

Starting third for race 2, after the top 8 were reversed, Bird was able to have a lights to flag run for his maiden podium, and got the points for the fastest lap as well.

This second place was the minimum that Bird deserved after his performances during the campaign – at the opening round at Abu Dhabi last year, Bird qualified on the front row and took the races fastest lap, but he was robbed of a podium finish due to brake failure.

“I'm slightly disappointed I couldn't quite go for the win today but a podium finish is satisfactory. My pace was on a par and at times faster than Ricci's but I didn't quite have enough rubber left at the end to make a move” was the reaction of Bird to his result.

Bird's surge in form towards the end of the 8 race series saw him finish 7th, with 12 points, and ahead of his ART Team mate Jules Bianchi.

“As I have always said”, Bird concluded, “for us it's all about preparing for the Main Series. This has been an ideal testing and learning ground for the forthcoming European season and I feel I have really gelled with the team. I want to say a big 'thank you' to everyone at ART. They gave me a great car today and have given me awesome support throughout this Asia Series. I'm looking forward to continuing working with them and I believe we can achieve great things together“

The opening rounds of the 2010 GP2 Main series starts alongside the first European Formula One race at Barcelona on the 7th to 9th May.

Photo credit: GP2 Media