The news broke today that Sam Bird would be leaving his team of Envision Virgin Racing at the end of season 6. Bird and the team came to a mutual agreement to part ways and will see him join Panasonic Jaguar Racing for the upcoming season starting later this year.
Bird is one of a small number of drivers who has been part of Formula E since its inception in 2014. Bird has been with Envision Virgin racing since the beginning of Formula E and, to date, has nine wins, 18 podiums, five pole positions and five fastest laps to-date. Taking to social media, Bird said “Six amazing years with @EnvisionVirgin come to a close after Berlin. I will be emotional to leave a team that has given me so much since we began our @FIAFormulaE journey together. Thank you to all the fans over the years and here is to a strong end to the season”.
Envision Virgin Racing’s Chairman of the Board, Franz Jung, made a statement thanking Bird for all he had down to the team but reminded everyone of the job to do for season 6. “I’d like to extend my thanks to Sam for his fantastic team contribution over the past six seasons. Of course, before then, we have plenty of racing to do with six events in nine days in Berlin, and I know Sam, Robin and everyone in the team will be putting in the hard work to ensure we finish the season strongly.”
Looking to his future, Bird also spoke of how thrilled he was to join his new team and move his racing career in a new direction. “I am really looking forward to a new chapter in my Formula E career with Panasonic Jaguar Racing, I have watched Jaguar’s growth and progress in the series and am very proud to be driving for an iconic British brand with such a successful racing DNA and joining an incredible list of drivers that have raced for the brand. I am incredibly hungry for success and I believe that together with Mitch we can achieve great things for the team and ourselves.” Bird then reiterated his thanks to his old team and spoke of how excited he was to test the Jaguar I-TYPE before partaking in the seventh season.
Panasonic Jaguar’s Team Principal, James Barclay, spoke of the news and his optimism for what is to come. “On behalf of the entire Panasonic Jaguar Racing Formula E team and everyone at Jaguar we would like to welcome Sam to the family. Since the start of Formula E, Sam has demonstrated that he is one of the very best drivers in the championship and we believe that together we will form a great partnership. With Mitch and Sam, we believe that we have arguably one of the strongest driver line-ups on the grid. With extremely close competition, it is clear that to be successful in Formula E you need two drivers who can be competing for podiums at every race. We now have two proven race winners that are capable of enabling us to challenge for both team and driver championship titles next season.” (All quotes taken from the Offical Formula E Website)
Seeing Bird drive for a different team is going to be a strange sight but Season 7 is sure to bring us just as much excitement as every other season in Formula E. Before we jump ahead of ourselves, we are all still eagerly anticipating Formula E’s triumphant return to the world when we finally go green again on August 5th for Season 6. With all 6 rounds taking place in Berlin, this season is surely going to be a very interesting one.
Don’t forget to check back with Overtake Motorsport for all the latest Formula E news and as well as many other forms of Motorsport that are starting to return in 2020.
Feature Image Credit: Sam Bird Official Twitter Page