Tag Archives: BIRD. Sam

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.


Motorsports Mondial

GP2 Asia

The Contenders

Gentlemen, start your engines for the taste of Arabian rose water. GP2, the final frontier before F1, starts its Asian variant on Friday. Here’s a look at the men who will fight to be the top Desert Fox. Romain & Co.

GROSJEAN. DAMS’ Romain Grosjean, a Geneva banker during the week, set the pace in first pre-season test session. Now under Gravity Management, and included in Lotus-Renault F1 team’s extended driver line-up, success in the 2011 GP2 campaigns, both in Asia and Europe, are crucial if he is to regain his place as a regular F1 driver. A brief foray as Nelsinho Piquet’s replacement was derailed after then manager Flavio Briatore was booted out of the team by Renault following the Singapore crash-gate sorry saga. Grosjean won the inaugural GP2 Asia series.

BIANCHI. Jules Bianchi, from Brignoles near Marseilles, is one of the pre-season favorites. He was third in the main series last year with three poles and four podium finishes. In the Asian version he recorded a pole and a podium finish from five races. Bianchi has won in every series he has competed and it will not be a surprise if he is to add the GP2 title to the list this year. His future is in good hands, a Ferrari contract and managed by Nicholas Todt. Bianchi’s grand father, Mauro, won the prestigious Macau Grand Prix.

BIRD. Sam is on a high wire after winning at Monza last September in his rookie year. He was fifth in the main championship. This season has also brought a change in teams from ART to iSport International; team that took Timo Glock to championship. Sam, now 24, previously competed in F3 Euro series and British F3. In 2009 he finished third in the Macau Grand Prix and was second in the 2005 Formula BMW UK Championship. He is managed by CJ Motorsport, the same people who manage Jean-Karl Vernay.

GUTIERREZ. This young Mexican sensation from Monterrey has won two championships in the past three years in the cut-throat world of European road racing. In his rookie GP2 season he is teamed with Jules Bianchi at the fabled and re-named Lotus ART team. Expect some cage rattling and podium finishes from Esteban as the season progresses. Like his teammate he also has a contract with an F1 team; Sauber, both team and driver enjoying support from Telmex. Success will ring soon!

ERICSSON. Marcus has been making his mark in motor racing all over the world. Success in karting brought him to the attention and management of Kenny Brack, the only Swede to win the Indy 500. Ericsson took victory in the GP2 sprint race at Valencia last year and finished his rookie season 17th in the championship. This year he moves from Super Nova to iSport International. In 2009 he won the Japanese F3 Championship, was fifth in the 2008 British F3 and won the 2007 Formula BMW UK championship with 7 wins and 11 pole positions from 18 starts.

PIC. Charles won the opening round of the 2010 GP2 Championship in Barcelona, and was 10th in final standings. He also recorded a win in the Asian series to finish 5th in the championship. This year he has moved to Barwa Addax from Arden International. Pic picked up third place in the 2009 World Series by Renault with two wins. In his karting days he won the prestigious Andrea Margutti Trophy in 2005. Still only 20, time is on his side but he must win races in 2011 to get the attention of F1 team owners. His Brother Arthur will compete in WSR this year.

LEIMER. Fabio was the winner of the sprint race of the opening round last year in Barcelona which remained his only podium finish of the season. The Swiss-driver is hoping to be a championship contender after switching from Ocean Racing Technology to Rapax, which took Pastor Maldonado to GP2 glory last year. Leimer is a previous Swiss karting champion and won the 2009 International Formula Master Championship with seven victories. His racing career has been supported by Rainer Gantenbein of Bautro Management.

— Nasir Hameed

Greetings and GP2 regards.

All photos courtesy of GP2 Media.