Putrajaya Formula E: Virgin's Sam Bird dominates in Malaysia

Sam Bird became Formula E's second ever winner, the Briton dominating round two of the all-electric series on the Putrajaya street circuit in Malaysia

Putrajaya Formula E: Virgin's Sam Bird dominates in Malaysia

Bird first took the lead on lap four, barging past pole-sitter Oriol Servia when the race was restarted following a lap-one safety car casued by a collision between Katherine Legge and Michela Cerruti.

Once in front Bird immediately pulled a gap to the field, his lead ballooning to nearly three seconds within two laps.

And his pace didn't come at the expense of efficiency either; Bird was the last of the drivers to make his car swap, pitting for a fresh set of wheels on lap 19.

The Virgin Racing driver emerged from the stop second, a long way behind Daniel Abt, who was the first driver to stop, but it didn't take long for Bird to hunt the German down. On lap 25 he made his move to retake the lead, and once in front he could cruise to victory.

"It's been an amazing week so far," said Bird. "We were quick from the first outing. Qualifying didn't quite go our way, but we put that right in the race."

China winner Lucas di Grassi came from the ninth row of the grid to finish second. The Brazilian had a clean first stint, before inheriting some spots on lap 23 when Jarno Trulli and Nelson Piquet, who were running third and fourth at the time, had a coming together on the approach to the first corner, taking both out of the race.

That left di Grassi third before his team-mate Abt started to run low on power with a couple of laps remaining and cleared the way for the Brazilian to comfortably slide through to take second.

"I felt like I had a better race than Beijing, even though I won in Beijing," di Grassi said. "I'm very happy, and will have a good party tonight."

Sebastien Buemi, who started on the last row of the grid, finished third, just over a second behind di Grassi.

Nicolas Prost finished fourth, but it could so easily have been fifth. Having battled for the majority of the second stint with team-mate Buemi, Prost was held up when Abt backed off to let di Grassi through.

It not only forced to Prost to concede third to Buemi, but left him a sitting duck for Bruno Senna, who used his FanBoost power to motor past into fourth less than a lap later.

But on the last lap Senna got his approach to the fast turn nine left-hander wrong, and ended up in the wall and out of the race.

That moved Jerome d'Ambrosio into fifth, ahead of Karun Chandhok and Servia. Antonio Felix da Costa finished eighth, Jaime Alguesuari ninth, while Abt - who was leading just six laps before the end - trundled home in 10th.

Meanwhile, Nick Heidfeld's poor luck continued. While running well inside the top 10 early on he was pushed into the turn five wall by Franck Montagny, ending his race on the spot.

RESULTS - 31 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Sam Bird Virgin 51m11.979s
2 Lucas di Grassi Abt 4.175s
3 Sebastien Buemi e.dams 5.739s
4 Nicolas Prost e.dams 9.552s
5 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon 13.722s
6 Karun Chandhok Mahindra 17.158s
7 Oriol Servia Dragon 18.621s
8 Antonio Felix da Costa Aguri 19.926s
9 Jaime Alguersuari Virgin 20.053s
10 Daniel Abt Abt 45.663s
11 Ho-Pin Tung China 55.833s
12 Stephane Sarrazin Venturi 56.626s
13 Matthew Brabham Andretti 1m05.036s
14 Bruno Senna Mahindra Spun off
15 Franck Montagny Andretti 1 Lap
16 Katherine Legge Aguri 3 Laps
17 Jarno Trulli Trulli 3 Laps
- Nelson Piquet Jr. China Collision
- Nick Heidfeld Venturi Disqualified
- Michela Cerruti Trulli Collision

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Lucas di Grassi 43
2 Sam Bird 40
3 Franck Montagny 18
4 Nicolas Prost 18
5 Jerome d'Ambrosio 18
5 Karun Chandhok 18
7 Sebastien Buemi 15
8 Charles Pic 12
9 Oriol Servia 12
10 Antonio Felix da Costa 4
10 Nelson Piquet Jr. 4
12 Jaime Alguersuari 4
13 Stephane Sarrazin 2
14 Daniel Abt 2
15 Takuma Sato 2


shares
comments
Putrajaya Formula E: Oriol Servia on pole, Nicolas Prost fastest

Previous article

Putrajaya Formula E: Oriol Servia on pole, Nicolas Prost fastest

Next article

Nick Heidfeld calls Formula E rival Franck Montagny "crazy"

Nick Heidfeld calls Formula E rival Franck Montagny "crazy"
Load comments
How Puebla's high-altitude encounter gave Formula E's new leader breathing space Plus

How Puebla's high-altitude encounter gave Formula E's new leader breathing space

With the usual Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez venue unavailable to Formula E, it visited the little Puebla circuit to keep its foot in the door in Mexico. A near-winner two years ago, Pascal Wehrlein looked in swaggering form throughout the weekend - but a breathless final encounter helped put Edoardo Mortara in the driving seat

Formula E
Jun 21, 2021
The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21 Plus

The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21

In an eventful Formula E season, punctuated by rain and energy-conservation controversy, the 12 teams contesting the championship have endured many challenges in the opening seven races. Here's how they've got on across the first half of the season.

Formula E
May 26, 2021
How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco Plus

How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco

OPINION: It was no surprise to anybody that the laptimes achieved by Formula E cars on the full Monaco circuit were much slower than Formula 1. But perhaps the more relevant comparison was in the racing spectacle, where FE delivered in spades

Formula E
May 12, 2021
How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover Plus

How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover

Formula E faced much criticism in the wake of its maligned Valencia event. In need of a turnaround, the series' first use of Monaco's iconic Formula 1 layout provided it with the injection of thrills required to clear the fog that had enveloped the paddock

Formula E
May 10, 2021
How Valencia E-Prix farce left Formula E with an image problem Plus

How Valencia E-Prix farce left Formula E with an image problem

Formula E was under the microscope at Valencia, on its first visit to a permanent circuit. But after a mere nine drivers were left classified following Saturday's Valencia E-Prix, the electric championship once more faced criticism after rising energy deductions and miscalculations produced a farcical affair

Formula E
Apr 25, 2021
The silver bullet signing that has launched Jaguar into title contention Plus

The silver bullet signing that has launched Jaguar into title contention

It's taken a long time for Jaguar to reach the cusp of contending for championships in Formula E. But, after last season's challenge crumbled in Berlin, the team has been bolstered by a top-line arrival who has helped to end an unwanted 30-year wait

Formula E
Apr 22, 2021
How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome Plus

How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome

Another Formula E double-header, another double dose of frantic action. While the form guide remains unpredictable following fightback wins for Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne in Rome, the speed and consistency of Mercedes – both on and off the track – could have its rivals worried for what is to follow

Formula E
Apr 12, 2021
What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future Plus

What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future

Formula E's Gen3 era grid continues to take shape, after Nissan opted to commit to the series for another four years. Nissan's global chief operating officer explains why it has thrown its lot in with FE while other high-profile marques have decided to call it quits

Formula E
Mar 24, 2021