Bird gearing up for a GP2 final day race off
Hersham’s Sam Bird is out to repair the faith of Russian Time by landing them the GP2 constructors’ title as he goes in pursuit of individual glory.
The 26-year-old Mercedes Petronas test driver secured his fifth race win of the season with a lights-to-flag victory in Singapore on Sunday.
It came 24 hours after he had finished eighth in race one of the weekend – having slipped back to 16th – securing pole position for race two, thanks to the top eight finishers being reversed for the starting grid.
The results leaves Bird – second in the championship – seven points behind leader Fabio Leimer of Racing Engineering going in to the final weekend of the season in Abu Dhabi in November.
Russian Time head the team championship by 17 points ahead of rivals Carlin, and Bird insisted that particular title remained his priority this year.
“It’s great to take five wins in a season,” he said.
“But the real achievement was on Saturday. Without that drive, I would not have been in this position.
“It’s nice to win races, but the bigger picture is to win the teams’ championship and hopefully the drivers’ one as well.”
“At the beginning of the year, I did not have a drive. Russian Time thankfully gave me this opportunity and I’ve proven I can do the job with them.
“It would be a phenomenal year if we could top it off and become the GP2 champions.”
The deciding races will take place on November 1-3, during the final Formula One Grand Prix weekend of the season in the Middle East.
And the Yas Marina circuit is one Bird, pictured right, knows well, having tested there with Mercedes in the not too distant past.
“I’ve got tons of experience there. It’s not like Singapore when I’ve come to a street circuit that’s the longest on the calendar and the hottest – that I did not know,” he added.
“Now we go to a track that I know very, very well. And I think I’ve been very quick there before.
“My first ever GP2 race was in Abu Dhabi. I qualified on the front row and actually led the race.
“I have good memories there, so let’s see what we can do. Whatever happens, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the year and I can’t wait to get there now.”
Ready: The force is strong with Sam Bird going into the final weekend of the GP2 Championship in November Picture: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service
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