Swooping Bird Bounces Back At Silverstone

In an unpredictable season of Formula Renault 3.5, the closing stages of race two at Silverstone last weekend was one of the most dramatic moments.

Having dominated the race to hurl himself back into championship contention, a puncture on the penultimate lap ended race-long leader Marco Sorensen’s chances of victory.

As he despaired on the sidelines cursing more bad luck, Sam Bird capitalized on his demise for his second win of the season.

Although delighted to claim a victory on home soil, the ISR driver was quick to pay tribute to the luckless Sorensen.

He said: “At the beginning of the race I was breathing down his neck and trying to put pressure on him but from mid-way through the race, my engine was misfiring in 5th and 6th gears so I was losing out quite badly in the fast sections and there are plenty of those round Silverstone.

“So yes, absolutely, from the moment my engine developed that issue, I would have been quite happy to nurse the car home in second place.

“I knew of course that Marco’s puncture put me into the lead of the race with a couple of laps to go but at that stage, it’s more information than emotion.

“The emotions come after the race and in this case it’s a mixture: the overriding one is one of great satisfaction for my team and myself, for having pulled out a great win from a very, very challenging weekend, during which we experienced a lot of technical issues.

“The other emotion is for my fellow-racer Marco Sorensen who drove a great race and deserved more than what he got.”

Bird had endured the misery, like many drivers, of race one where his slick tyres could not cope with a sudden torrential downpour which saw him crash at Luffield.

Nevertheless the Mercedes reserve driver unperturbed.

“The conditions are what they are for everyone so there really isn’t much to be frustrated about,” said Bird.

“Having said that, as I said before the weekend, I was hoping for the races to be either clearly dry or clearly wet.

“We have proven to be very quick in both conditions. What I did not want was what we got, i.e: starting a race with complete uncertainty as to what the weather is going to do next.

“There is no reliable information that can help you make that call so it’s basically like going for red or black at roulette. In this case we went for red and black came out!”

Asked which of these prestigious victories he cherished the most, Bird could not choose between them.

He said: “They both mean a lot for different reasons.

“Silverstone is legendary and it’s my home race while Monaco is Monaco! One of the ultimate driver challenges and arguably the most prestigious race on the calendar.

“I’m proud to have won both of those races and I can’t choose between them!”