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Sam Bird joins the 100 club in Formula E

Jaguar's Sam Bird reached his 100th race in Formula E in Diriyah and it certainly did not disappoint

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Sam Bird remains as one of the oldest drivers on the grid at the age of 36, and he has been a part of Formula E right from the very start.  

Sam Bird celebrating victory for Jaguar in New York (2020/21). Image Credit: Jaguar via You Tube

The Formula E veteran has seen an incredible career in the series. He has won 11 races and he’s finished on the podium 23 times – that’s nearly a quarter of his total races in Formula E. You could say that Bird has well and truly been around the block, and he’s still going.  

Bird now joins an elusive list of 100 race club drivers, which includes some of the best in the game. These are Lucas Di Grassi, Sebastian Buemi, and of course Jean-Éric Vergne, two of which are Formula E world champions. The Brit certainly has a career to be proud of in the series, and this campaign is already shaping up to potentially be one of his finest.  

Formula E legend 

You may remember Sam Bird from that infamous Putrajaya ePrix victory. He won the second Formula E race ever held, and he won the first ever London E-Prix. The first driver to win on home soil in the series, that’s an impressive record to hold. 

His best campaign for Formula E is unquestionably the 2016/17 season where he was able to win two races and a further two podiums. Bird finished fourth that year, with a whopping 122 points. Just five points off third in the championship, Felix Rosenqvist.  

Now though, he is well on track to replicate the success of that season. There are still 14 rounds left in season nine, but he already looks like one of the most consistent drivers so far. If he was to win two of those remaining rounds and finish on the podium another two times – he would have bettered his best season. He proves that some drivers age like fine wine. 

Sam Bird on the top step of the podium after winning the first ever Formula E London E-Prix. Image Credit: FIA via You Tube
The here and now 

After the first three rounds, Bird currently sits fourth in the driver’s standings. More impressively, he has already been able to put himself on the podium in Diriyah after a season long absence from the top three steps. The 38-year-old’s performances in both qualifying and the races have been marvelous so far. He’s also performed better than his teammate. 

Despite retiring from the Mexico City E-Prix, Bird still sits comfortably in the top five. Only Pascal Wehrlein, Jake Dennis and Sebastian Buemi are ahead. A third and fourth place finish have proved to be fruitful, and they are a handy warning that Sam Bird is not finished with Formula E. 

His form in the ninth edition of Formula E is a reminder of Bird’s consistency in the sport. There has only been one season where the driver has failed to get two or more podium finishes. Also, he has only completed one season without a Formula E victory. However, it seems that the racing veteran is well on track to keep this incredible record going.  

The future of Sam Bird 

While he races like one of the young drivers, he definitely is not one of them. He is the fourth oldest driver on the grid, with Andre Lotterer, Lucas Di Grassi and Rene Rast all slightly older. But of those three drivers, he is the best performer along with the Brazilian. Only Rene Rast has also finished on the podium this season. 

As one of the only drivers who has stayed with Formula E right from the very beginning, you would do well to find a more respected driver with fans. Then, you would struggle to find drivers who can perform at their best at such an age. Many have tried in the past and many have failed, yet Bird still powers on.

Next year could be his tenth season in Formula E, which is a rather large stint in a driver’s career. Many fans would be curious to know if it will be his last. As one of the most featured drivers in the sport, Bird has already established himself in the history books. Now, he will want to make sure that his career will end with a bang.  

Feature Image Credit: Jaguar via You Tube

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