British driver Sam Bird joined Jaguar Racing ahead of season seven of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. Having raced in Formula E since its inception in 2014, Bird brings a wealth of experience to the team, securing 11 wins to date. Bird started his racing career in 2002, went on to forge a record of results in the sport’s junior categories before a number of key Formula 1 roles. In recent years, Bird has tasted success in the FIA World Endurance Championship with Ferrari and the G-Drive Racing squad. Sam Bird also completes his 100th race in Formula E at Hyderabad.
1. How different is the Hyderabad circuit than other tracks around the world?
The Hyderabad circuit is quite similar to some of the tracks we’ve raced at before, such as New York, Punta del Este and Rome. It’s an interesting circuit to drive and I hope to enjoy it. If I can go fast, then I’ll definitely enjoy it.
2. Thoughts on how the season has started.
It’s been a promising start to season 9. We were able to showcase good speed and efficiency in the Diriyah double-header, whereas Mexico was a non-event for me personally as a driver. But as a team, Jaguar TCS Racing has learnt and improved a lot over the first three races, and if we can continue that positive learning curve, then we should be in a good place in Hyderabad.
3. What seems to be the biggest issue in the team right now?
After our positive results in Diriyah, achieving our first podium along with winning fastest lap and scoring points, we are feeling motivated and positive about the next round. As a team, we’re not dealing with any big issues right now but as always, our preparation is paramount and is focussed on being ready to take on the challenge of a new track.
4. How are the Gen3 cars? Do you feel a little more testing would have helped improve certain aspects?
More testing would’ve enabled everybody to understand the Gen3 car a bit more, but it’s made the start of the season far more interesting. Some teams are getting on top of their efficiency, understanding of the tyres and the vehicle more than others. So now it is a case of working really hard to keep up that level of understanding.
5. Coming into round 4 at Hyderabad, what’s the strategy for the weekend?
My strategy for this weekend will be focussing on working within my prime performance zone and extracting the maximum out of myself and the car. I believe in the team and so we’ll be aiming to score some good points.
6. Thoughts on the new Hankook tyres?
The introduction of the new Hankook tyres for season 9 has meant that it is taking us more time to get used to them, but that has in turn created some fun and enjoyable races.
7. Q for Sam Bird: What’s your strategy going into your 9th season of Formula E?
I’m personally working within a different window and mindset. I’m no longer looking ahead to races and solely thinking about the position I want to be in. Instead, I’m looking at my personal performance and setting that as my target. If I can hit those performance targets, then it’s easier to achieve a better position.
8. Any concerns before the weekend?
No concerns, I’m feeling ready and feeling focussed. I’ll just try not to get bitten by a mosquito before the race!