Contrary to what was believed last night, Sam Bird will remain at the DS Virgin team for Season four alongside season 3 reserve driver Alex Lynn, who deputised for the outgoing Jose Maria Lopez at New York in July taking pole position on his first attempt.
For Sam, Alex with be his fifth teammate in four season after Jaime Alguersuari and Fabio Leimer raced in Season 1, Jean-Eric Vergne in Season 2, and Jose Maria Lopez in Season 3.
“I am over the moon at being promoted to a full-time drive with the DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team,” said Lynn. “Having worked very closely with them since January this year, it has been a genuine pleasure to learn from such a fantastic group of high quality engineers and to integrate myself into their set-up. Indeed, I have been made to feel very welcome throughout their organisation and I would specifically like to thank Alex Tai for not only giving me the chance to make my series debut in New York, but for subsequently promoting me to this full-time race seat. I am currently enjoying helping the team to further develop the car and intend to fully repay everyone’s faith in me on track next season.”
Bird said: “It’s great to be remaining with the DS Virgin Racing family which I’ve been a part of since we completed the first ever test lap at Donington Park in 2014. Last season saw us take some big steps forward in terms of pace and energy management – as our double victory in New York showed – and I know the team has been working hard on maintaining this competitive edge. I’m looking forward to further success in season four and to be partnering with Alex who will no doubt prove to be a real asset to the team.”
Team Principal Alex Tai commented: “I’m delighted to announce our driver line-up for season four. Alex has always impressed me and has a proven track record in international motorsport so I know he will perform out of the blocks as we’ve already seen. It’s also important for us at DS Virgin Racing to be nurturing young drivers like Alex and the next generation of Formula E racers. Together with Sam, who has consistently proven himself to be one of the most talented drivers on the grid, and the pace of our car, I believe we have a very competitive package that can fight at the top.
“I would also like to personally thank Jose for his contribution to the team last season and we wish him well for the future.”
As for the free Jaguar seat that Bird was rumoured to take, it now seems that Nelson Piquet Jr is once again the front runner for that season, leaving the NextEV NIO team after 3 seasons, the team he won his championship wins 2 years ago.
The new season of the FIA Formula E Championship gets underway this December in Hong Kong.