Bird aims to ‘get it done in sector one’

DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird believes the first three turns of the Putrajaya street circuit will offer the best overtaking opportunities in Saturday’s ePrix in Malaysia.

Bird won the inaugural Putrajaya ePrix in 2014, while then team-mate Jaime Alguersuari set a lap record of 1:24.429 on his way to ninth place.

“I thought the circuit in Putrajaya lent itself to some great racing. I thought the layout was superb and there were some especially bumpy parts but it added to the character of the circuit,” Bird told the Formula E website.

“The bumpiest part is going into the last corner. Everywhere else is as smooth as we come across over the course of the year.”

“The key overtaking points are into turn one, three and four. Everywhere else is very difficult to line something up so you need to really focus on getting it done in sector one.

“You need to get a good exit out of the last corner in order to tee-up those overtaking opportunities.”

Bird and current teammate Jean-Eric Vergne started in fifth and ninth on the grid respectively at the Beijing ePrix, but technical problems meant they went on to finish in seventh and 12th.

The six points he earned in Beijing means Bird is currently seventh on the drivers’ standings after one race, with Vergne in 12th after picking up zero.

The 28-year-old Englishman finished the 2014/2015 season in fifth place on the driver’s championship after two race victories. Vergne, who was racing for Andretti at the time, finished in seventh.

The monsoon weather in Malaysia is expected to be a major factor in Saturday’s race, with track temperatures expected to reach 50 degrees Celsius. The race has also been brought forward by two hours in hopes of avoiding the likely rainstorms.