Bird: Qualifying deficit to Evans behind Formula E "blip"

Sam Bird says a lack of pace in qualifying is behind a difficult year in Formula E, but reckons his 2021-22 season is nothing more than a blip.

Sam Bird, Jaguar Racing on the grid

The Jaguar driver has won a race in every single one of his seven previous seasons in Formula E, but is yet to break onto the podium this year - and has managed a best finish of fourth this year in the Diriyah E-Prix opener.

So far, Bird occupies 12th in the drivers' championship - down on his lowest finish of 10th in 2019-20.

Although Bird says his race pace has been good enough for strong results this year, he has struggled to unlock performance in qualifying and has only made the duels twice - in Diriyah and in Rome.

He explained that he was missing one to two tenths over a qualifying lap compared to title-challenging team-mate Mitch Evans and, given the tight margins in this year's field, has contrived to keep him from occupying a regular duels slot.

"My qualifying promises haven't been good enough," Bird told "I've missed a tenth or two tenths to Mitch in most of the qualifying sessions, and that's the difference.

"So instead of just getting through to the shootouts, I've been qualifying 11th, 12th, 13th and it's not good enough. It's not where I want to be. The team are working extremely hard to give me the best car.

"If I can deliver that, I know that the race pace that we've got and that I've shown and demonstrated this year is good enough to put us right at the front."

Sam Bird, Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 5

Sam Bird, Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 5

Photo by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images

Bird has won three races in New York City, collecting a double win in 2016-17 at the Brooklyn Street Circuit, and took his second victory for Jaguar at the circuit last season.

The Brit says that coming to New York "fills me with confidence" and hopes that, given the expected departure of the race from the 2022-23 calendar due to works around the cruise terminal in proximity, he can "end it on a high".

"It's somewhere that fills me with confidence and optimism," Bird said. "Yeah, the season hasn't gone so far the way that I had hoped that it would, but there's still six races to go, there's still time to turn it around and make it more than acceptable.

"I think people are very quick to forget, I've had seven really strong seasons in Formula E as well so every year fighting for the title. I think somebody's allowed a small blip at some stage."


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