Envision Virgin Racing and driver Sam Bird have jointly decided to part ways at the end of the current Formula E season. The Brit, who has driven for the founding team since its formation and to date boasts nine wins and 18 podiums together, will leave the team by mutual consent at the end of season six
Sam Bird will remain fully committed to the Silverstone-based outfit until then and will join team-mate Robin Frijns for the championship’s final races in Berlin, beginning on August 5.
Panasonic Jaguar Racing
Directly after the press release that Sam Bird will be a free man next season, Panasonic Jaguar Racing announced that Sam Bird will join their next year line-up
Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director at Envision Virgin Racing, said:
“I know I speak for the entire team when I say Sam is one of the most likable and decorated drivers in Formula E and, come mid-August, will leave us with the utmost respect and admiration. Being a founding member of this team like myself, I personally want to pay tribute to Sam for the excellent job he has done and for being a pleasure to work with over the years. Ever the professional, he remains just as committed and determined to end the season with Envision Virgin Racing on a high.” Followed up by “Behind the scenes, we have been developing our season seven driver line-up and I’m excited to confirm that we will be revealing this in the coming days.”
Sam Bird, who remains the only Formula E driver to have won in every season to date, commented:
“Over the years, this team has become more like a family to me and has been a huge part of my racing career. Many will know that the team and Formula E resurrected my racing career and for that I am eternally grateful. I have so many memories and highlights – both on and off-track – to look back on and I really hope there’s still a few more to come in Berlin before I embark on the next chapter of my racing career. And for sure, there is likely to be a tear in my eye come to that final race.”
James Barclay, Panasonic Jaguar Racing Team Director:
“On behalf of the entire Panasonic Jaguar Racing Formula E team and everyone at Jaguar we would like to welcome Sam to the family. Since the start of Formula E Sam has demonstrated that he is one of the very best drivers in the championship and we believe that together we will form a great partnership. With Mitch and Sam we believe that we have arguably one of the strongest driver line-ups on the grid. With extremely close competition it is clear that to be successful in Formula E you need two drivers who can be competing for podiums at every race. We now have two proven race winners that are capable of enabling us to challenge for both team and driver championship titles next season.”
Sam Bird about Panasonic Jaguar Racing:
“I am really looking forward to a new chapter in my Formula E career with Panasonic Jaguar Racing. I have watched Jaguar’s growth and progress in the series and am very proud to be driving for an iconic British brand with such a successful racing DNA and joining an incredible list of drivers that have raced for the brand. I am incredibly hungry for success and I believe that together with Mitch we can achieve great things for the team and ourselves. I want to thank Envision Virgin Racing for everything we have achieved together and wish them well for the future. After Berlin, I can’t wait to test the Jaguar I-TYPE and be in the best place possible for season seven and beyond.”
Formula E season
The 2019/2020 Formula E season will resume with three double-headers taking place on 5 & 6, 8 & 9, and 12 & 13 August, with all six races staged at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport.