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Bird concedes Rome Formula E win risk was "not worth it"

Sam Bird believes that he would have had to risk “absolutely everything” to take victory in the second Rome E-Prix this weekend, as the Jaguar Formula E driver eventually finished third.

Sam Bird, Jaguar Racing, 3rd position, on the podium

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

The Briton was battling for the lead against eventual winner Jake Dennis at the midpoint of Sunday’s race and made several attempts to overtake the Andretti Autosport driver. 

But he was unable to find a way past and eventually dropped back to third behind Nissan’s Norman Nato by the end of the race despite having more energy than the two drivers ahead. 

The result was still a remarkable achievement, though, as the Jaguar team spent all night rebuilding a new car for Bird after he triggered a multi-car crash which halted Saturday’s race. 

Bird says that after team-mate Mitch Evans was eliminated in a crash with title rival Nick Cassidy during Sunday’s race, he was told to go after the win to take points away from new championship leader Dennis. 

“When I heard Mitch had the issue, my role changed during the race,” said Bird, who was suffering with a front powerkit issue on his newly-built car throughout the day. 

“My role obviously was always to finish behind Mitch as it had been in qualifying the last two days. 

“And then I was told to get after Jake, try and win the race, that’s now your role in this race.  

Norman Nato, Nissan Formula E Team, Nissan e-4ORCE 04, Sam Bird, Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6, Edoardo Mortara, Maserati Racing, Maserati Tipo Folgore

Norman Nato, Nissan Formula E Team, Nissan e-4ORCE 04, Sam Bird, Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6, Edoardo Mortara, Maserati Racing, Maserati Tipo Folgore

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

“I gave it a good shot but the guys I was racing against boxed really smart and placed their car exactly where they needed to. 

“There was no way through unless I risked absolutely everything and it’s just not worth it. It would have been a very silly thing to do.” 

Following the race, Bird was self-critical of his performances this season as he sits only ninth in the standings with four podiums to his name.

The Briton is also rumoured to have lost his seat at Jaguar next season to Cassidy, with just two races in London remaining this season. 

“There’s been a lot of times recently where I have looked in the mirror and seen a very mediocre racing driver and yesterday was one of those, and it’s been very difficult to pick myself up,” added Bird.

“But more relief than anything else today. I’ve tried my best, I’ve made a lot of mistakes this year, I can’t shy away from them, but I’ve always given my best.  

“I haven’t necessarily shown bad speed this year, I’m normally quite quick, but too many mistakes, too many errors.”

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