Sam Bird on the podium for Virgin in inaugural Formula E race

Virgin Racing driver, Sam Bird and Jaime Alguersuari finish third place on the podium and 11th in the first FIA Formula E race in Beijing

Virgin Racing scored 23 race points today as Sam Bird finished in 3rd place and Jaime Alguersuari finished 11th in the FIA Formula E Championship opening race in Beijing. British driver Sam Bird started in eleventh place on the grid having qualified with a time of 1:42:918 and quickly moved up four places.

Both drivers raced aggressively in an action-packed race around the streets of Beijing as thousands lined the track to watch the very first FIA Formula E race. Overtaking three drivers in quick succession, Bird spent a majority of the race in sixth before a close fight with Karun Chandhock of Mahindra lost him a place. This didn’t last long, and Bird made his way to the front and managed to fight for a podium place.

Sam Bird, Virgin Racing (3rd position), said, “The main point from today is that Nick Heidfeld is okay after the accident that took place. As Virgin Racing team, we are delighted with today’s results. I’m so proud of the team and what we managed to do here in Beijing. This is the first ever race under this set up and to achieve podium here is fantastic. The first ever Formula E race had all the action and for Virgin to be a part of this is incredible.”

Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing driver (11th position), said, “Today was a lot of fun and it was great to finally be out racing in Formula E. It was very difficult though and the competition between the drivers is incredible. Today proved that it is going to be very close throughout the Championship. I thought that I would be able to improve from starting in seventh on the grid, but I had a few problems with the car at points in the race and I was not completely comfortable with the set-up of my second car following my car change. This is definitely something we will look into before Malaysia.”

Alex Tai, Virgin Racing Team Principal: “I am very proud of the guys today and I thought they did a great job. We picked the two drivers to race for Virgin Racing because we loved the way they race and enjoyed watching them attack corners and drive tactically, which they have done today. We have a lot to take away from today, and we know that there is still a lot to learn about these cars and how we can get the best out of them, but to have started the Championship with 23 points, we can leave Beijing happy.”

Round 2 will take place in Putrajaya, Malaysia on 22nd November 2014.

RESULTS:

1. Lucas di Grassi BRZ Audi Sport ABT 25 laps 2. Franck Montagny FRA Andretti Autosport +2.867s 3. Sam Bird GBR Virgin Racing +6.559s 4. Charles Pic FRA Andretti Autosport +19.301s 5. Karun Chandhok IND Mahindra Racing +23.952 6. Jerome d'Ambrosio BEL Dragon Racing +31.664s 7. Oriol Servia ESP Dragon Racing +41.968 8. Nelson Piquet Jr BRZ China Racing +43.896s 9. Stephane Sarrazin FRA Venturi +43.975 10. Daniel Abt GER Audi Sport ABT +1m 02.507s

11. Jaime Alguersuari ESP Virgin Racing +1m 03.613s 12. Nicholas Prost FRA e.dams Renault +1 lap 13. Nick Heidfeld GER Venturi +1 lap 14. Katherine Legge GBR Amlin Aguri +1 lap 15. Michela Cerruti ITA TrulliGP +1 lap 16. Ho-Pin Tung ARG China Racing +1 lap

Not Classified

17. Takuma Sato JPN Amlin Aguri 21 laps completed 18. Sebastien Buemi SUI e.dams Renault 12 laps completed 19. Bruno Senna BRZ Mahindra Racing 0 laps completed 20. Jarno Trulli ITA TrulliGP 0 laps completed