McLaren have signed Sam Bird to complete its Formula E line-up for 2023/24 season as he replaces Rene Rast.
The NEOM McLaren Formula E Team today announces that Sam Bird will be competing for the team in the 2023/24 season of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. Sam will be competing alongside Jake Hughes, who will be competing in his second season for the team.
Sam Bird began his single seater racing career in Formula BMW in 2004, coming runner up in the series in 2005. He has competed in Formula Renault, and various Formula 3 and GP2 Series seasons, before holding a number of Formula 1 roles, including roles with Williams Racing and Mercedes AMG Petronas.
Since 2014, he has competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship. Highlights including winning the LMP2 class in 2014 with G-Drive Racing and finishing second in the LMGTE Pro class with AF Corse in 2016. Sam has competed in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship since Season 1 (2014/15) of the championship, being one of the only drivers on the grid to do so – as well as being one of the most successful drivers on the grid, claiming 11 wins, 26 podium places and 6 Pole Positions over the course of those nine seasons.
The NEOM McLaren Formula E Team will be in action later this year when official testing begins (23 – 27 October 2023, in Valencia, Spain) ahead of the first round of Season 10 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, the Mexico City E-Prix, on 13 January 2024.
Sam Bird said: “I’m super excited to get going with the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team. Becoming part of a team with so much heritage and prestige as the McLaren Racing family feels special. We know there is some work to do ahead of Season 10, to ensure we get to where we want to be, which is at the front of the Formula E pack. It feels great to be part of the team and I can’t wait to kick off the season preparations, I’m super motivated and driven to deliver success with the team in Season 10.”
Ian James, Managing Director, NEOM McLaren Electric Racing and Team Principal, NEOM McLaren Formula E Team, said: “It’s great to be able to share the news that Sam will be joining the team for Season 10, alongside Jake. Sam is a proven force in Formula E, as well as other categories of racing, and his experience and determination will fuel the team ahead of an exciting season to come. As soon as the deal was done, his first question to me was when he could come into the office to start the preparations for Season 10 – this clearly shows his hunger and commitment to making Season 10 a success for the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team. Having both Sam and Jake on board has already instilled confidence in the team.”
Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, said: “It is a pleasure to welcome Sam to the McLaren Racing family. Throughout his time in Formula E, Sam has proven himself to be an impressive talent, and we are eager to leverage his experience and expertise to help bring the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team further success in Season 10. Alongside Jake, I’m confident that we have one of the strongest pairings on the Formula E grid. Bring on Season 10!”
Formula E line-up so far:
Jaguar – Mitch Evans, Nick Cassidy
McLaren – Jake Hughes, Sam Bird
Envision – Sebastien Buemi, Robin Frijns
Andretti – Jake Dennis
Maserati – Edoardo Mortara
Here’s news on Jake Hughes
[Note: The story is as per press release]