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28 June 2010

Valencia: A podium and a box full of neutrals

Sam secured his second consecutive GP2 feature race podium with another impressive drive on his first-ever visit to the streets of Valencia.

Sam Bird on track in Valencia
In Sunday’s feature race however, he suffered from a gearbox problem and was forced to start from pit lane.

“I was unable to select first gear for the start of the formation lap”, he explained. “I tried to shift up repeatedly but I just had a box full of neutrals.”

“I got pushed into pit lane and still had the same problem but after the team push-started me I was finally able to select a gear and I rejoined the back at the pack.”

“After that, it was just a case of keeping my head down and fighting my way up the order”.

Sam did manage to get all the way back up to finish tenth, courtesy of some smart driving through the customary Valencia chaos and some great overtaking moves on fellow Brits Oliver Turvey and Max Chilton.

He missed out on the fastest lap of the race by 1/100th of a second.

“It was a great shame about today because we clearly had the pace once again and starting from 6th, I do believe that another podium was achievable,” Sam said at the end of the weekend.

“Having said that, we have to take some satisfaction from the podium yesterday and for once again being very competitive. I want to thank my team for a good job throughout the weekend and in particular for an excellent pit stop yesterday. As for today’s gearbox issue, I don’t believe there is any way that they could have anticipated that. It was just one of those things ”.

The next round of the GP2 Series will take place at Silverstone on 9th – 11th July.