Sam Bird scored points once again for DS Virgin Racing whilst Jean-Eric Vergne had a difficult race after he made contact with Dragon Racing’s Loic Duval at the start of last weekend’s FIA Formula E Championship Mexico ePrix.
After struggling in both Free Practice sessions, Bird and Vergne finished at the top of their qualifying groups, filling the team with optimism ahead of Saturday’s race around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit. Vergne qualified in sixth position whilst Bird ended up in 11th but at the start of the race, the positions quickly changed after Vergne came together with Duval, sending him spinning into the first chicane.
“Duval blocked me and I had nowhere to go,” said the Frenchman. “I was so far behind but I managed to make up those few places, the car was great and I know for a fact as I was going as fast as I could in that respect.”
As well as the contact with Duval, a problem with the second car during his stop caused Vergne more time and effectively brought an early end to his race. “It was a different race for me after the problem in the pit-stop; when I left the pit-lane I was being lapped by the leaders. These things happen and I don’t intend to repeat what happened today.
I am learning and I know I’m not having a great year but I envisage a long term relationship with DS Virgin Racing and I want to do better. One thing that did cheer up my day was the amazing atmosphere here. Such brilliant fans and spectators.”
Bird’s day went much better than his teammates after the British driver fought his way through the field in order to bring point’s home for DS Virgin Racing. After starting in tenth, Bird managed to gain three more places before the end of the race and was granted on extra place after the race winner, Lucas di Grassi, was disqualified for being 1.8kg under the minimum weight at the end of the race.
“It was a tough drive and the points we gained are invaluable. I know it perhaps wasn’t the ideal outcome overall for the team but we’re resilient and like Jean-Eric says, I believe we will only improve,” said Bird.