Bird out to ‘give Buemi a hard time’ after strong early season FE pace

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Sam Bird will head to next weekend’s Buenos Aires Formula E race keen to put pressure on runaway championship leader Sebastien Buemi after impressing in the opening two rounds of the season.

Bird was in contention for victory in the Hong Kong season opener at the beginning of October, only for a slow pit stop to drop him outside of the points.

Bird once again showed geat pace in Marrakesh one month later, finishing second behind Buemi after fighting past early leader and pole-sitter Felix Rosenqvist.

Despite having just 18 points to show for his efforts so far this season, Bird thinks he is the only driver to have put up a serious challenge to defending champion Buemi so far.

“In my opinion I should have won in Hong Kong. It was a race between myself and Seb, but my pit stop was terrible,” Bird told NBC Sports.

“Then I was disappointed with second place in Marrakesh. So I think we’re the only ones so far to have given Seb a hard time, and hopefully that will continue.

“Hopefully sometimes we come out on top. But he’s the guy to beat.”

Bird will venture to Buenos Aires next weekend, the site of one of his most impressive Formula E victories last year, as well as the home race for DS Virgin Racing teammate Jose Maria Lopez.

Bird was full of praise for Lopez after two races alongside him: “He’s going good. He’s a good guy, very quick, professional, nice guy to get on with. He’ll be very quick very soon.”

Despite the Buenos Aires Formula E race coming so early in the year, it will not be Bird’s first event of 2017 after the Briton raced in the GTD class for Scuderia Corsa in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Bird is set to split duties between Formula E and sportscar racing once again this year, but finds no difficulty in going from one car to the other.

“It is completely different, which means it is quite straightforward to switch between,” Bird said.

“The main thing is that when I jump in the single-seater, in the middle of the car and have no roof, it’s a completely different feel.

“If I was driving one weekend a Ferrari and another weekend another GT, that would be more confusing. The fact they are so vastly different means it is very straightforward to switch.”