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Formula E Diriyah ePrix II

Bird's Diriyah FE podium a "reward" for Jaguar team's hard work

Sam Bird says that his return to the podium at the Diriyah E-Prix was an "amazing reward" for Jaguar's work after the Mexico Formula E opener.

Sam Bird, Jaguar Racing, 3rd position, lifts his trophy

The Briton scored his first Formula E podium in over a year after a trying 2021-22 season and had led the majority of the race's first two-thirds, but was powerless to resist Pascal Wehrlein's lap 30 overtake for the lead.

Despite a deficit to the Porsche-powered cars of Wehrlein and Andretti's Jake Dennis in the race, Bird scored a comfortable third-place finish having been on form since arriving in Saudi Arabia.

On the back of the Mexico City E-Prix weekend, which Bird retired from with a driveshaft issue, the London-born racer felt that his Diriyah podium had adequately rewarded the work Jaguar had carried out after the season opener to find performance.

"It's my 100th race today, so to celebrate it with a podium today is really cool," said Bird.

"I'd like to say thank you to everyone at Jaguar, they've put in such a huge amount of work from Mexico, because Mexico was tricky and there were issues. To come here and get a podium is an amazing reward for the team.

"I knew it was there. I knew the pace was there in Mexico but I just wasn't able to execute it.

"I've left last year behind and this is a new journey with the Gen3 car. I've been working hard on myself to get into a better frame of mind for this year, and I think this is proof that I can still do it."

Sam Bird, Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6

Sam Bird, Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

Bird applauded the pace of the Porsche cars ahead of him, but was adamant that Jaguar would be combing through its data to ensure it could provide a challenge to the German manufacturer in the second Diriyah race.

He admitted that he was worried about overtaking opportunities during the course of the race, owing to a relative lack of passing in Mexico, but was eager to watch the Diriyah race back.

"I saw some interesting things during the race. So we'll sit down after this with the team and work out how to go Porsche-hunting tomorrow. They look very, very quick.

"After watching the Mexico race, and having seen less overtaking than we've seen before in Formula E, I thought this one would be even more difficult. But apparently it was quite entertaining, so I'm looking forward to watching it back."

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