Sam Bird Secures the Win for NEOM McLaren in Brazil

March 17, 2024Kimberly Kay
Formula E

In the closing stages of the São Paulo ePrix it looked as though Mitch Evans was headed for his first win in Formula E. However, Sam Bird had other plans for how his weekend in Brazil would end. On lap 28/31 Bird made a lunge up the inside on Evans that Evans could not defend. “It’s a hard one to accept,” Evans reflected after the checkered flag. “I feel like we did all the right steps but unfortunately the last lap I had a battery derate through temperature. I had not much top speed and it was getting worse throughout the lap. So, I knew it was gonna be tight.”

Bird on the other hand was thrilled that the move paid off and he was able to build up a half second cushion before the end of the race. “What an outstanding result for myself and for NEOM McLaren to get our first victory together,” he said. “It’s particularly special doing it here in Brazil, home of Ayrton Senna and supported by Emerson Fittipaldi on the podium. This is a great reward for everyone who has worked so tirelessly with the team since the very beginning – I joined for NEOM McLaren’s second year and I’ve seen so much progress already.

I couldn’t be prouder of every single person in the team. A big thank you to Nissan as well, our powertrain suppliers, for continuing to improve and providing us with the powertrain capable of doing what we did today. I’m looking forward to continuing to celebrate, and we’ll focus on Tokyo in a few weeks’ time.”

Nick Cassidy DNF but Retains Championship Lead

Despite not finishing the race Nick Cassidy, Bird’s former teammate still retains the lead in the drivers championship with 57 points. Cassidy was building up for a successful weekend but fell short in the ePrix. After coming off of 4 straight podiums a DNF was not in the expected outcomes for a weekend where Jaguar thought Cassidy had the fastest car on grid.

He said, “I had a really fast car in FP1, FP2 and the first run of qualifying today, but the race didn’t go quite how I wanted or expected it to. I had a couple of touches with the front wing and unfortunately it was too badly damaged. I still think I was one of the fastest cars this weekend, plus, I have come off the back of four podiums in a row and I’m still leading the Drivers’ Championship standings so there’s a lot of positives to take forward to Tokyo.”

Formula E Racing Picks up in two weeks time with the next round taking place in 10 days time.