Sam Bird has said that the incident that ended his race at the Sanya ePrix was part and parcel of racing, describing it as ‘just one of those things’.
The Envision Virgin Racing driver had been leading the driver’s championship going into China, but a disappointing qualifying left him starting well down the grid.
Shortly after the start Bird was hit behind by Stoffel Vandoorne, causing damage to his diffuser that meant he had to retire immediately.
It was the first retirement for Bird in twenty-five races, with his last non-finish being at the Monaco ePrix back in May 2017, and meant that he slipped to fourth in the driver’s standings.
Afterwards though he was in a reflective mood, saying he wanted to put the incident behind him and concentrate on the Rome ePrix – a race he won last year.
“Today was certainly not the result we’d hoped for, but we take it, and move on,” Bird said. “The clash with Stoffel was not malicious in any way and just one of those things.
“We just put it behind us now and look ahead to the Rome race, which we enjoyed a great result at last year.”
His Virgin Racing team-mate Robin Frijns was also forced to retire after making contact with another car.
Having driven brilliantly through the field the Dutchman was hit from behind when defending from Sebastien Buemi, which forced him to run on at the chicane where he wiped out Lucas di Grassi.
Frijns described the end result as exasperating, but said that he took the positives from the strong pace he showed in the race.
“That was a really frustrating race for us,” he said. “Starting P12, we’d worked hard to get into a good points scoring position, especially with everything going on with the red flag stoppage.
“Then to be forced to retire is really disappointing but it is, what it is. There are still many positives we can take from this race and we know if we can work on our qualifying then we have the pace to compete at the front.”