Jaguar TCS Racing has confirmed that Sam Bird has left the team after three seasons, two wins, seven podiums and a total of 233 points.
The Brit wound up eighth at the end of the inaugural GEN3 campaign, with the team praising his contribution as “fundamental” to its Formula E efforts. Bird hit his Formula E century of race starts this year in Race 1 in Diriyah.
“We gave it everything and did what we could but unfortunately, we just had too much of a deficit coming in at the beginning of the weekend,” said Bird post-London. “Congratulations to Envision for their World Championship win.
“On the whole, this season has been fairly disappointing for me, with a lot of wasted opportunities early on but I have to take the positives – the pace has been strong, I’ve had four podiums, scored nearly 100 points and finished eighth in the championship ahead of some big names.
“It’s bittersweet to be leaving the team, the past few years have had their fair share of ups and downs, but I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to the team for everything, and I look forward to what the future holds.”
As the Brit alluded to, his season had its peaks and troughs. Colliding with his teammate Mitch Evans in Hyderabad with both looking capable of the race win and a podium at the very least. The two came to blows again in Jakarta, with Evans running eighth at the time; costly again, and with the margins so fine at the end of the season in both the Drivers’ and Teams’ World Championship – those incidents could have proven the difference makers.
Bird wound up eighth in the Drivers’ running and Evans placed on record post-London the strong relationship he and Bird have, as well as the respect the Kiwi holds for the 36-year-old.
“We had a great relationship since he joined, and we’ve had a great time as teammates – bar Hyderabad and Jakarta!” joked Evans. “In terms of accolades, he’s up there with the best in the championship and he’s had a tricky time of it personally and on the racing side recently. I’ve enjoyed racing with him.”
“I would like to extend a huge thank you to Sam,” said Team Principal James Barclay. “It’s been an amazing three years together and he has contributed to the success we’ve seen as a team.
“Sam joins an illustrious list of drivers that have raced for a Jaguar line-up, and I know he’s proud of that, as are we. Sam is an extremely talented racing driver who has been a privilege to work with and I know he will see great success in the future.”
The paddock rumours were rife in London as Formula E’s silly season hit fever pitch. With the noise around Bird swirling prior to Jaguar’s confirmation, the whispers indicating that he could be heading to NEOM McLaren for Season 10.
Meanwhile, ABT CUPRA confirmed that Robin Frijns would be moving on from the Kempten-based team at the end of Season 9.