Formula E Star Sam Bird joins Extreme E Driver Programme

Formula E stalwart Sam Bird has joined the Driver Pool for the Extreme E championship.

Bird has been racing in Formula E since the very beginning and is one of few drivers to contest every race.

He is also one of the few to have stayed with the same team all the way through, leading the way for the Envision Virgin Racing squad and fighting for championships since the first year.

The championship has alluded him but every year he has always been near the front of the field.

Alongside his Formula E exploits, Bird has competed in the World Endurance Championship, winning the LMP2 Championship in 2015 and leading the Ferrari GT-Pro squad since.

Bird said of his involvement in the series: “The ODYSSEY 21 looks like a bit of a monster. I’m expecting top-level performance given the numbers, and having seen footage from Dakar earlier this year, it looks like that’s what we’ll get. I’ve spent a lot of time in Formula E, so I’m not new to EVs in motorsport but this E-SUV will be a different kettle of fish.

“It’s a unique car and a unique series, so naturally there’ll be a period of adaptation and a learning curve, especially as I’ve very much been a circuit racer through my career to-date. It’ll be exciting to get to grips with and I’m a fast learner!”

The ODYSSEY-21 Extreme E e-SUV © Extreme E/HWA

Bird joins other Formula E stars already announced for the series including Nelson Piquet Jr, Lucas di Grassi, Andre Lotterer, Bruno Senna, Daniel Abt, Antonio Felix Da Costa and Jérôme d’Ambrosio.

The driver programme includes drivers from other disciplines such as Sebastien Ogier, Kevin and Timmy Hansen from the WRC and WRX respectively. And Superbike racer Takuma Aoki.

Also involved are comeback hero Billy Monger and W Series winner Jamie Chadwick.

The series will commence in January 2021. The provisional calendar is as follows

23-24 January: Lac Rose, Dakar, Senegal
5-6 March: Al-‘Ula, Saudi Arabia
14-15 May: Kali Gandaki Valley, Mustang District, Nepal
28-29 August: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
30-31 October: Santarém, Pará, Brazil