Sam Bird wins Formula E Championship race in Malaysia
Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird wins second round of the Formula E Championship in Malaysia and dedicates his win to former teammate Jules Bianchi, Australia’s Matthew Brabham finished 13th on debut.
THE SECOND ROUND of the inaugural Formula E Championship was won by Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird who dedicated his win to former team-mate Jules Bianchi who remains in a critical condition after his crash in Japan last month.
“I have to dedicate this win to a good friend of mine who is very ill. It’s very sad what’s happened to him and this one is for Jules.”
Bird dominated the race on the Putrajaya street circuit in Malaysia, starting from second on the grid and virtually maintaining his lead from beginning to end. But the race got off to a shaky start when Amlin Aguri’s Katherine Legge and Michela Cerruti (Trulli) collided. Legge looked to make a pass on the inside but lost the back-end of her car and caused Cerruti to spin.
Similarly, Australia’s Matthew Brabham (grandson of the late Sir Jack Brabham), making his Formula E debut in Malaysia with Andretti finished 13th after coming together with Nick Heidfeld and spinning.
“The first stint I was able to get a very good gap which meant we could take it easy and not make any silly mistakes, do some lift and coasting, and coast to the finish,” Bird said of his win.
Second and third place were taken, respectively, by Audi Sport ABT driver Lucas di Grassi and e.dams-Renault’s Sebastian Buemi who started from the back of the grid.
Di Grassi said: “For sure this was beyond my expectations. Everyone is here to win, everyone is pushing to the limit as this track has proven once and for all this car is very tricky to drive even if you have done all the testing. The tiniest margin can ruin your whole weekend and that’s what happened in qualifying from my side and then to come all the way from the back of the grid on a street track to second is an amazing feeling. I felt I had a much better race than in Beijing where I won.”
“I’m really happy I have to say,” said Buemi. “We were really good in testing and then when we came to the first race it just didn’t go well. It went bad today in the qualifying which is quite strange, we did some set up changes that didn’t work so well but I felt the strongest in this car and finished third.”
Nicolas Prost who was penalised for causing an “avoidable collision” at the opening round of the Formula E Championships in Beijing, when he came together with Nick Heidfeld, saw him penalised and start in 11th place, he managed to get through the field to finish fourth.
Mahindra Racing’s Bruno Senna crashed heavily on the final lap (31) while trying to get past Sebastian Buemi for third place. “I saw Buemi and had an opportunity to get a podium but I made a mistake. I just went for it and got out on the marbles when I lost the car,” he said.
Round three of the Formula E Championship will be held at Punta del Este in Uruguay on 13 December, before heading to the US for two rounds.
FIA Formula E Championship – Putrajaya ePrix – Race (31 laps)
Sam Bird, Virgin Racing, 51:11.979
Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT, +4.175s
Sebastien Buemi, e.dams-Renault, +5.739s
Nicolas Prost, e.dams-Renault, +9.552s
Jerome d’Ambrosio, Dragon Racing, +13.722s
Karun Chandhok, Mahindra Racing, +17.158s
Oriol Servia, Dragon Racing, +18.621s
Antonio Felix da Costa, Amlin Aguri, +19.926s
Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing, +20.053s
Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT, +45.663s
Ho-Pin Tung, China Racing, +55.833s
Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi, +56.626s
Matthew Brabham, Andretti, +1:05.036s
Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing, +1 lap
Franck Montagny, Andretti, +1 lap (penalty)
Katherine Legge, Amlin Aguri, +3 laps (penalty)
Jarno Trulli, Trulli, +3 laps (penalty)
Nelson Piquet Jr, China Racing, DNF
Michela Cerruti, Trulli, DNF
Nick Heidfeld, Venturi, excluded (penalty)