DRIVER NEWS: Sam Bird (20, Claygate) stood on the British Formula 3 International Series podium for the first time in Bucharest today, Saturday May 19. It was also his first street race, and the first street race to be held in the Romanian capital.
The morning was damp and humid and there were numerous incidents before the F3 race, delaying it by an hour, while the drivers had to keep their concentration and focus waiting for the track to be cleared.
It was decided to start the race behind a safety car due to oil on the track. Starting from 4th on the grid, Sam held station, but after the safety car withdrew, he started pushing 3rd placed Seb Hohenthal, (Sam’s team mate last year) hard. Sam was able to pull alongside on to the grippy part of the track, forcing Seb onto the slippery side, then under braking, Seb lost out to Sam and dropped down the order while Sam powered into third place.
“Unfortunately, much of the race was held under safety cars” said Sam “so after my move on Seb, there was no opportunity for more overtaking. But to get my first F3 podium in my first street race is a real thrill. The track is awesome, I am just loving it. I’m also delighted to get my first podium here in Bucharest in front of my Romanian sponsors, Oblique TV Magazin.
Sam has qualified in fifth position for tomorrow morning’s race “I feel I should have done better than 3rd row of the grid” he said after qualifying “but I hope to improve during the race. I’m really enjoying Formula 3 and learning more all the time”