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Weblog posts

20 October 2008
Training in Italy
Hi guys, Just got back from Italy where I was training with Formula Medicine.

23 September 2008
A nice big trophy
Hi guys, just got back from Barcelona and for the first time in a while, I was s

3 September 2008
Friends and fans at Brands Hatch
(photos by Clément Marin)   As the race weekend at Brands Hatch lo

12 May 2008
Busy schedule
When you look at my racing diary, there seem to be a lot of gaps, plenty of spar

7 May 2008
Watch the Birdie
It’s 1989, and the Bird family is settling down to watch the Grand Prix. F

5 May 2008
Flying Bird pays heavy price for qualifying
Another new track, another good practice session, but another qualifying setback

28 April 2008
"Well, just a week to go.."
Well, just a week to go till my next race in Mugello, looking forward to it. I h

12 April 2008
Sam's interview with Radio London

8 April 2008
Hockenheim is coming up
Hello and welcome back to my weblog. I am so looking forward to start racing aga

25 March 2008
Bird tops time tables at Estoril
Sam Bird has recorded the fastest time over the two day F3 Euroseries test at Es

20 March 2008
BRDC launches superstars initiative, supporting young British drivers
On Thursday 20 March the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) launched its

10 January 2008
Sam opens Silverstone BP service station
Best of all, he opened BP’s first service station to sell only its BP Ulti

7 January 2008
Bird to fly the flag in Europe
Sam Bird will be competing in the Formula 3 Euro Series with Manor Motorsport in

21 November 2007
Sam top of the class in Macau
Sam capped off his maiden Macau weekend in style, finishing 6th in the Grand Pri

19 November 2007
Bird soars ten places in Macau qualifying race
(photos: Clement Marin) BP Ultimate driver Sam Bird flew through the pack from 1

5 November 2007
Bird enjoys first taste of Formula One
Sam Bird has conducted a series of aerodynamic tests on behalf of the AT&T W

18 October 2007
Sam presented with rookie prize
The British International Formula 3 series came to a glittering conclusion on Sa

1 October 2007
listen to Press conference from Rockingham

27 September 2007
What I've been doing since Croft
Although we haven’t had a race meeting for three weeks, I’ve been re

17 September 2007
Listen to the radio interview of Sam Bird on BBC radio

10 September 2007
Interview with Sam from Croft
Listen to the interview between Sam Bird and journalist Stella Ma

28 August 2007
Bird suffers a weekend to forget at Thruxton!
Sam Bird, (20, Claygate) endured a torrid time at Thruxton today, Sunday August

14 August 2007
Sam scores valuable points at Silverstone
Photos Jakob EbreySam secured two sixth place finishes today at Silverstone, in

30 July 2007
My first Spa experience
We set off for Spa last Wednesday, cramped in the back of the family car, took a

6 July 2007
Listen to Sam about Brands Hatch circuit
Brands Hatch is a great venue, especially the Grand Prix circuit. It makes it a

1 July 2007
Hi, I¡¯m Sam Bird
Welcome to my weblog. I thought I’d tell you a bit about myself. I’m

Sam Bird

Monday 2 May 2008

Flying Bird pays heavy price for qualifying

Another new track, another good practice session, but another qualifying setback beset Sam Bird in his second round of F3 Euro Series at Mugello.

On arrival at the picturesque Tuscan circuit, the rain was falling heavily. In the first day’s practice the BP Ultimate Driver was quickest in the rain and 7th overall, and feeling positive that he could improve from there. However, Friday dawned bright and sunny and by the time the cars went out to qualify the track was extremely hot, and the changes made to the car affected the handling adversely.

On track, and with fresh tyres, Sam was ready for “the one” – the lap that would determine his whole weekend. Flying past the pit exit, another car swerved onto the track, spoiling the lap, and, as it proved, the weekend! Sam was 17th on the grid for race one. "it was good of Stefano to come over to say sorry although the incident has given me a mountain to climb yet again this weekend".

A grid-staller just in front of Sam saw him lose a couple of places when the lights turned green, and from there it was an uphill battle all the way to the flag. Sam fought bravely, and treated the Mugello crowd to some great overtaking manoeuvres to finish a creditable (in the circumstances) 14th. “I’m very disappointed” the MSA Race Elite Driver commented “we didn’t really get the car right for this race so I had to fight it all the way to make some progress up the field. I’m very disappointed. From 14th it will be a huge challenge to get into the points, but my main aim is to make a good start and move upwards throughout the race – we’ll have to wait and see how it pans out tomorrow”.

Sunday’s race was again in good weather conditions and as the red lights went out, Sam made one of his trademark starts, catapulting him into 11th place immediately. From there, he gained on the leading pack and progressed to 8th courtesy of some great moves on Franck Mailleux and Dani Clos successively. A good battle with team mate Tsukakoshi ensued, with Sam attempting several overtaking monoeuvres, but eventually having to settle for 8th. Sam was the third fastest man of the race despite rarely having any clear air ahead of him. One can only reflect on what the CJ Motorsport managed driver might have achieved had he started further forward on the grid.

"This time the car was spot on and I would like to thank my engineer Adrian and the whole team for all the hard work this weekend" said Sam. “It was a challenging and disappointing weekend. The positive I can take away from this is that I have proven that my pace is amongst the very best and is good enough for podiums and wins. Having said that, I am paying a heavy price for very bad qualifying results, and although there are good reasons for that, it’s the same for everyone. We must and we will get that right!"