DS Virgin Racing and their lead driver, Sam Bird, are heading to the inaugural Zurich ePrix with high hopes, knowing that they need something magical this weekend to stay in title contention. Bird has won two races in the 2017-18 ABB FIA Formula E Championship, but currently sits 40-points behind championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne heading to Zurich with just three races to go.
This weekend’s Zurich ePrix will be the first motor race in Switzerland for the first time in more than 60-years in the heart of the Swiss capital. Racing had previously been forbidden in Switzerland in the aftermath of the terrible crash at the 1955 Le Mans 24 Hours race. However, a law was passed in 2015 which lifted restrictions on fully-electric racing, paving the way for this Sunday’s Formula E event.
Sam Bird will be joined by his British team-mate Alex Lynn to take to the streets of Zurich on Sunday. The track is a temporary 2.46 km circuit located beside the picturesque Lake Zurich, where the drivers will race past the financial quarter, before winding their way through the historic city centre, and then looping back to the start/finish straight in front of the Enge Harbour. It is set to be one of the fastest and technically-challenging circuits on the calendar, with the 10-turn course taking them through the heart of Zurich.
Sam Bird currently lies second in the title race, and will be hoping to close in on title leader Vergne ahead of the double-header season finale in New York City, and is full of expectation heading to Zurich: “Compared to the last race in Berlin, the Zurich track certainly suits us better with its mix of 90-degree corners, chicanes and a tight hairpin.”
“We know we have a quick car and if we can qualify at the front, which we’ve done throughout the season, then for sure we can challenge at the sharp end.”
His team-mate Alex Lynn has endured a challenging time of things recently, currently sitting fourteenth in the championship standings. But he is hopeful of better fortunes this weekend in Zurich: “After the last race we’ve gone away and worked hard on the simulator and at our Silverstone base to ensure we’re ready for the Zurich E-Prix.”
“With three races remaining, things are getting even closer in the championship, with everything to play for, so we’ll be pushing for a strong points finish to help better our third place in the teams’ standings.”
DS Virgin Racing are currently third in the teams championship, but there is a sense of optimism that they can continue to push ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport and Techeetah for the top two positions in the teams championship as well as fighting for the drivers title.
Sylvain Filippi, DS Virgin Racing’s Chief Operations Officer commented: “It’s fantastic that Formula E is once again making history and bringing racing back to Switzerland, especially with Zurich regarded as one of the most sustainable cities in the world.
“This season remains our strongest to date, so the whole team has been putting in maximum effort to ensure we’re in the best possible shape to continue our push for both the drivers’ and the teams’ championship.”