Sam Bird returns to GP2 with Russian Time

Sam Bird will return to the GP2 Series this year after sealing a last-minute deal with new squad Russian Time

Sam Bird returns to GP2 with Russian Time

The 26-year-old Briton raced in the championship from 2010-11 with ART and iSport before switching to Formula Renault 3.5 last year.

"I am delighted to be joining Russian Time for the 2013 GP2 season and grateful to everybody involved, in particular [team boss] Igor Mazepa, for choosing me for this exceptional opportunity," said Bird.

"I look forward to working closely with the team and to helping them achieve their ambition of fighting for the team championship title".

Russian Time confirmed last month that it had taken over the entry previously held by iSport.

Team boss Mazepa believes that Bird's experience, which includes a GP2 win and seven further podiums as well as his work as reserve driver for the Mercedes Formula 1 team, will be of great benefit to the outfit.

"I think his experience and a strong winning attitude is exactly what we need at Russian Time to complete our extremely competitive line-up," he said.

"As a team, we would like to give Sam our full support and expertise to help bring him at the top of the standings.

"I am sure that with the addition of Sam to our team, we will reach our goal which is ambitious as we are aiming for the 2013 title."

Bird will partner former German F3 champion Tom Dillmann at the team.

The GP2 season starts this weekend at Sepang.

AUTOSPORT says...
Glenn Freeman, news editor

Russian Time was a late addition to the 2013 GP2 grid, but it has given itself a very strong platform to make an impact when the season kicks off this weekend in Malaysia.

The team clearly has its own strong financial package, which has enabled it to take two drivers that it believes can make it a winner in its first season. Both are race winners in this category, and they have plenty of experience at this level.

But with a strong line-up comes added pressure. If the Russian Time cars are at the back for this weekend's season opener, nobody is going to be pointing any fingers at the driver line-up.

For Bird, this represents a chance to prove to the F1 paddock that his year spent racing in Formula Renault 3.5 really was "the best I have ever driven".

The World Series by Renault package is away from the watching eyes of F1 (even if the grid has its fair share of F1 'junior' drivers on it) so now the Briton has a chance to build on his progress from last year firmly in the spotlight.

Dillmann's career has been repeatedly hobbled by a lack of finance ever since his brief spell as a Red Bull junior which ended in 2007. Now he has a drive that comes without huge financial pressure, he can prove what he's capable of when all he has to worry about is the racing.

2013 GP2 line-up so far: DAMS Marcus Ericsson Stephane Richelmi ART James Calado Daniel Abt Arden International Johnny Cecotto Jr Mitch Evans Racing Engineering Fabio Leimer Julian Leal Carlin Felipe Nasr Jolyon Palmer Russian Time Tom Dillmann Sam Bird Caterham Racing Ma Qing Hua Sergio Canamasas Addax Team Rio Haryanto Jake Rosenzweig Rapax Stefano Coletti Simon Trummer Trident Racing TBA TBA Hilmer Motorsport TBA TBA Lazarus GP Rene Binder Kevin Giovesi MP Motorsport Daniel de Jong Adrian Quaife-Hobbs 
shares
comments
Sergio Canamasas completes Caterham's GP2 line-up

Previous article

Sergio Canamasas completes Caterham's GP2 line-up

Next article

Trident to field Nathanael Berthon and Kevin Ceccon in GP2 opener

Trident to field Nathanael Berthon and Kevin Ceccon in GP2 opener
Load comments

About this article

Series FIA F2
Author Jamie O'Leary
The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive Plus

The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive

Having lost his backing from Red Bull, Richard Verschoor has had to graft to continue his ascent up the single-seater ladder. An impressive Formula 2 debut in Bahrain, despite the lateness of his deal, shows his unorthodox approach is paying dividends

FIA F2
Apr 22, 2021
Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success? Plus

Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success?

Going into the 2021 Formula 2 season the biggest talking point wasn’t about any drivers or teams, but the new race weekend format. Created partly out of financial necessity but also to spice up the action, the Bahrain opener provided a snapshot of the positives and negatives to come

FIA F2
Apr 4, 2021
Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs Plus

Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs

He was tipped for glory in FIA Formula 2 last year, but was hampered by reliability woes at inopportune moments. Guanyu Zhou knows he won't get too many more chances if he is to become China's first F1 driver, with fierce competition within the ranks of Alpine's junior stable

FIA F2
Mar 25, 2021
How Schumacher Jr earned his Haas F1 chance Plus

How Schumacher Jr earned his Haas F1 chance

Michael Schumacher may have won seven Formula 1 titles, but he didn't even compete for a crown at the second tier. Son Mick put that right in 2020, and proved to Ferrari that he was deserving of a shot at motorsport's elite category in 2021

FIA F2
Jan 9, 2021
The quintet giving Ferrari a tough decision to make Plus

The quintet giving Ferrari a tough decision to make

The Ferrari Driver Academy earned a podium sweep in the first Formula 2 race of the new decade in Austria last weekend. The battle between 'the FDA five' is set to be one of the major subplots of the season, but who has the best F1 prospects for 2021?

FIA F2
Jul 8, 2020
The Williams junior determined to prove Red Bull wrong Plus

The Williams junior determined to prove Red Bull wrong

Dropped by his team in Japan and by Red Bull, Dan Ticktum's single-seater career seemed to be over last summer. But now he's on the Formula 2 grid with the reigning champion team, and he's a new protege of Williams. How did that happen?

FIA F2
Mar 20, 2020
The controversial weekend that ended an American's dream in Europe Plus

The controversial weekend that ended an American's dream in Europe

OPINION: In the latest in our series of features looking back the recently concluded 2010s, we recall one of the many sagas of the 2018 Formula 2 season, which featured unusual fines and an unsavoury clash between team-mates

FIA F2
Jan 3, 2020
The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status Plus

The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status

In the latest feature in our series looking back on the 2010s, we revisit Charles Leclerc's sensational Formula 2 season - where he strode among on-track highs and lows, as well as tragedy away from motorsport, to earn a place on the Formula 1 grid

FIA F2
Dec 26, 2019