Bird’s win in the inaugural Rome ePrix two weeks ago was his seventh in total, moving him ahead of Lucas Di Grassi as the second most winningest driver in Formula E’s history. Despite his impressive record, Bird has yet to finish a season higher than fourth in the drivers’ championship.
“I’ve won some pretty spectacular races so far. To win my home race in London in season one, both New York races last year, and to follow that up with a Hong Kong win and Rome is huge,” said Bird.
“Now I’ve sort of found myself in a position where you start to think ‘maybe I can mount a more serious challenge this year than I ever have done before’. Before I’ve gone into the last round with a mathematical chance, but not a realistic chance.
“This year it will be nice if I can go into it with a more realistic opportunity to come away with something special.”
Despite scoring pole position for the first Paris ePrix in 2016, Bird is yet to finish on the podium in the French capital and says the emphasis will be on qualifying if he is score victory in the home race for his DS Virgin Racing team.
“I’m hoping for a strong result here, but you still need to do a stunning job in qualifying,” said Bird.
“It’s very difficult to carve your way through the field at this circuit, and our car isn’t the best at doing that. We know that you need to qualify at the front because you’re not going to be able to save up massive energy compared to others while being at the same pace; it’s not possible.
Bird endured a torrid time in last year’s Paris race, qualifying down in 18th place – his joint worst grid position in Formula E – and finished well outside the points in 16th. The Brit says both he and his DS Virgin team learned a lot from that situation.
“Last year I was in group one, and it was the first year of the season three tyre. We didn’t understand it what was needed and what was required to maximise the opportunities from them,” Bird explained.
“I was out in group one, and it was a combination of things that led to a disaster. If we were to be drawn in group one again, then I would, and we would do things differently.”
Image Credit: Formula E
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