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15 September 2014
Sam flies high with Birds Nest podium as FIA Formula E launches in Beijing
Virgin Racing scored 15 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 the 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 a podium finish 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 15 points, we can leave Beijing happy."
Round 2 will take place in Putrajaya, Malaysia on 22nd November 2014.