F1Weekly podcast # 643

Sam Bird (RUSSIAN TIME) Singapore R2

Clark and Nasir talk about the Brazilian Grand Prix and the 2013 F1 season. Also special interview with Sam Bird.

Bird made his name in single seater racing in the Formula BMW category, coming fourteenth overall in his debut season and second in the rookie cup. He came runner up in 2005, which was only his second season in the category and also came fourth in the Formula BMW world final, the race itself was won by German Marco Holzer.

Formula Renault

For 2006, Bird entered the British Formula Renault series, where he won four races and came fourth in the championship, 111 points behind series champion Sebastian Hohenthal.

Formula Three

Bird on the Formula 3 Euro Series at the Hockenheimring (2009)

In 2007, Bird raced in the British Formula Three Championship with Carlin Motorsport, racing in a Mercedes powered Dallara. In March 2007, Bird secured sponsorship from BP, “The brand is already prominent in the World Rally Championship” Mark Reader, BP’s UK Fuels Marketing Manager, commented, “Sam’s an incredible prospect and we’re excited to be getting into a relationship at this stage of his career” he added. Bird was elected to the Motor Sports Association Race Elite Scheme in April 2007, along with 5 other drivers in various British series and also participated in a series of aerodynamic tests with the AT&T Williams F1 Team.

Bird moved to the Manor Motorsport and the Formula 3 Euro Series in 2008 and had a testing year, finishing eleventh in the championship with 23 points – 16 of which came from second places during Saturday races at Catalunya and Le Mans and only picked up points from three other races. For 2009, he joined McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner Alexander Sims, 2008 Mücke driver Christian Vietoris and 2008 Formula BMW Europe runner-up Marco Wittmann at Mücke Motorsport. He earned his first pole position and fastest laps, but failed to win a race en route to eighth in the championship.

GP2 Series

Bird missed the final round of the F3 Euroseries season to join up with the ART Grand Prix team for a GP2 Asia Series test at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. He raced in the 2009–10 season for the team, where he finished seventh in the series, with a second place in the final round.

Bird contested the 2010 GP2 Series with ART, having long coveted a drive with the French team. He was fast but frequently unlucky, losing several potential results due to technical issues, engine failures and collisions for which he was not at fault. However, he managed to claim his maiden series win at the first race at Monza, as well as claiming his third fastest lap of the season.

For 2011, Bird moved to the iSport International team alongside Marcus Ericsson. His GP2 Asia campaign resulted in three retirements from four races, but after a strong start to the main series season, he was second in the Drivers’ Championship after four rounds, with the same number of points as leader Romain Grosjean. After this point, however, he gradually slipped back in the standings and finished sixth overall at the end of the season.

Formula One

On 16 November 2010 he took part in the young drivers test in Abu Dhabi driving for Mercedes GP.