Sam Bird left Rome as the FIA Formula E Championship leader, but it was a weekend of mixed results for the British racer with a podium in race one being followed by a retirement in race two.
Bird and Jaguar Racing team-mate Mitch Evans were both compromised by being in group one of qualifying for both races of the Rome ePrix, and he started tenth and eleventh on the grid.
In race one, he was superb, passing driver after driver and putting his attack modes to good use to climb to second place.
“What a great start to the year it has been – to have four podiums, in three races, combined for Jaguar Racing is honestly a great achievement,” said Bird on Saturday, as Evans joined him on the podium by finishing third. “The whole team should be so proud.
“It’s the full team who are making us strong on track so congratulations to everyone involved. But it doesn’t stop there, we have a great car in the Jaguar I-TYPE 5 and another race tomorrow so it’s an opportunity to try and do it all again.”
Unfortunately for Bird, his run of points scoring ended on Sunday afternoon as he was the innocent victim in a crash initiated by Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team’s Nyck de Vries. De Vries was making a move to overtake Bird as they neared the end but lost control and took out the Briton.
Never-the-less, Bird remains on top of the championship standings as Formula E moves to Valencia for rounds five and six of the season later this month.
“Overall a very positive weekend for Jaguar Racing,” said Bird on Sunday. “Today wasn’t ideal for me, with the collision, but we were in the points until the very end, showing that we do have the pace.
“We are leading the Drivers’ and Teams’ Championship which is amazing, and we’ll work hard now to continue to learn, grow and we’ll keep going forwards.”