Bird to leave Virgin for Jaguar for 2020-21 Formula E season

Sam Bird will leave the Envision Virgin Racing Formula E team at the end of the season and sign for Jaguar to replace James Calado for the 2020-21 campaign

Bird to leave Virgin for Jaguar for 2020-21 Formula E season

The 33-year-old Briton has started every one of the 63 FE races to date, all for Virgin Racing, and is the only driver in the series to have scored a victory each season.

A nine-time E-Prix winner, Bird will complete the six remaining races of the current 2019-20 season - all held at the Tempelhof Airport in Berlin over nine days - for Envision Virgin Racing.

He will then move to Jaguar to partner Mitch Evans, currently second in the championship, to begin testing what will be the I-Type 5 for the seventh season, when FE gains FIA world championship status.

Bird said: "I have watched Jaguar's growth and progress in the series and am very proud to be driving for an iconic British brand with such a successful racing DNA and joining an incredible list of drivers that have raced for the brand.

"I am incredibly hungry for success and I believe that together with Mitch we can achieve great things for the team and ourselves.

"I want to thank Envision Virgin Racing for everything we have achieved together and wish them well for the future.

"After Berlin, I can't wait to test the Jaguar I-Type and be in the best place possible for season seven and beyond."

Envision Virgin Racing, which runs a customer Audi powertrain, is currently seventh in the standings - with Bird scoring 26 of its 39 points with his opening race win in Saudi Arabia.

Jaguar, third in the standings behind only BMW Andretti and DS Techeetah, has approached Ferrari World Endurance Championship GTE driver Calado about staying on at the team as a reserve and test driver.

James Barclay, the Jaguar team director, added: "Since the start of Formula E, Sam has demonstrated that he is one of the very best drivers in the championship and we believe that together we will form a great partnership.

"With Mitch and Sam we believe that we have arguably one of the strongest driver line-ups on the grid.

"With extremely close competition it is clear that to be successful in Formula E you need two drivers who can be competing for podiums at every race.

"We now have two proven race winners that are capable of enabling us to challenge for both team and driver championship titles next season."

Bird, formerly the test driver for the Mercedes Formula 1 team, will become the sixth different Jaguar signing since it joined the series in 2016-17.

The 2020-21 FE calendar, announced following an FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting last month, is set to commence with an opening race in the Chilean capital of Santiago.

shares
comments
What's new in Formula E ahead of its return?
Previous article

What's new in Formula E ahead of its return?

Next article

Why Bird at Jaguar will help the team fly in Formula E

Why Bird at Jaguar will help the team fly in Formula E
Load comments
Why Maserati's shift to Formula E is a win for both sides Plus

Why Maserati's shift to Formula E is a win for both sides

Maserati will make a full-factory return to racing, joining the Formula E grid in 2023 with a view to electrifying its road car portfolio. In that regard it makes sense for Maserati - but it's also a win for the series as it seeks to rebound from losing three of its heavyweight German giants in the space of a few months

Formula E
Jan 11, 2022
The fundamental questions facing a Formula E junior series Plus

The fundamental questions facing a Formula E junior series

As Formula E prepares to enter its new Gen3 era, many have pondered the prospect of its existing machines continuing in a feeder category. But before such a programme could be embarked on, there are several important questions that must be satisfactorily answered

Formula E
Jan 4, 2022
Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2 Plus

Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was wide open until the final race after its most unpredictable season yet. Eventual champion Nyck de Vries explains why this made his title-winning experience such a different experience to conquering F2 in 2019

Formula E
Dec 6, 2021
Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong Plus

Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong

Formula E welcomes a mix of past, present and future for the 2021-2022 season. The old guard facing off against a sprinkling of newcomers, a fresh qualifying format amid a sporting rules shake-up and a range of minor tweaks to the existing all-electric machines are all subplots to the final campaign before the next generation arrives

Formula E
Dec 3, 2021
The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two Formula E teams Plus

The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two Formula E teams

Electing not to share data with its competitive customer team would have been a straightforward means of gaining an edge on at least one of Mercedes' Formula E rivals last season. But by reciprocating the relationship forged under its initial HWA guise, when it was a customer to Venturi, both teams have reaped the rewards

Formula E
Nov 30, 2021
How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait Plus

How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait

With its ultra-successful sister team in Formula 1 and a support network providing some of the best minds and resources in the business, Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James knew his squad had all the winning ingredients. But mixing it together was no easy feat and required key attributes to be grown from within

Formula E
Nov 29, 2021
How Formula E's polarising newcomer can prove himself Plus

How Formula E's polarising newcomer can prove himself

OPINION: Few figures in racing today divide opinion like Dan Ticktum. The Formula 2 race-winner now has the chance to wipe his professional slate clean with his move into Formula E, but it won't be easy at the squad which has brought up the rear for the past three years. Here are the three key criteria he must meet to make a lasting impression on the series

Formula E
Nov 27, 2021
How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E Plus

How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E

By virtue of its Formula 1 success, Mercedes was expected to rise to power in Formula E before long. That it won both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships this year, after only two seasons as a full works effort, belies a tricky path littered with potential pitfalls

Formula E
Nov 26, 2021