Sam Bird secured his first GP2 podium today at the Sakhir circuit, Bahrain, with an impressive performance that saw him control second place from lights to flag.
This came on the back of a very strong performance of a different kind yesterday, when Sam, having suffered with a serious clutch issue off the line, slipped down to 20th before fighting his way back up to finish 6th.
Sam had knocked on the door of GP2 honours at his very first ever GP2 event in Abu Dhabi, late last year, with a front row qualifying result and a fastest lap of the race. But a brake failure had robbed him of silverware.
This time, however, the young Brit was not to be denied as he put in a faultless drive, once again securing the fastest lap of the race, to finish his and his team’s GP2 Asia campaign in style.
“I’m slightly disappointed I couldn’t quite go for the win today but a podium finish is satisfactory. My pace was on a par and at times faster than Ricci’s but I didn’t quite have enough rubber left at the end to make a move” said the ART driver.
After a late surge in the championship, following his early season woes, Sam finishes 7th overall and ahead of team mate Jules Bianchi.
“As I have always said”, Sam concluded, “for us it’s all about preparing for the Main Series. This has been an ideal testing and learning ground for the forthcoming European season and I feel I have really gelled with the team. I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone at ART. They gave me a great car today and have given me awesome support throughout this Asia Series. I’m looking forward to continuing working with them and I believe we can achieve great things together“
GP2 Main Series will begin in Barcelona on May 7th to 9th, as the support races to Formula One’s first European race.