Bird adopting race-by-race approach
3 May 2010 – Sam Bird has explained that he will be taking each event as it comes in his first GP2 season. The British driver, one of three in the field, experienced mixed results whilst learning much in pre-season testing and heads into Barcelona's opening two races with confidence.
Born in the south-western London district of Roehampton, Bird made his single-seater debut in Formula BMW UK in 2004, moving from 14th overall in the championship to the runner-up spot a year later. The 23-year-old's path to GP2 has since taken him through Formula Renault UK, British Formula 3, the Formula 3 Euroseries and GP2 Asia.
"Good! I've been beaten by a couple of experienced guys at times but I'm generally very happy," Bird, who finished third at last year's prestigious Macau Grand Prix, told GPUpdate.net when reflecting on winter testing with the ART Grand Prix team. "I'm bonding with the team very well, we're learning and improving all the time, and if it continues like this I'll be very happy."
Although team-mate Jules Bianchi has been with the French squad for a year longer than Sam, the latter is completely confident that each driver will receive identical treatment. "They treat us totally equally, it's very fair," he said. "It's great to work with Jules, we're bouncing off each other very well; obviously he pushes me and I push him as well - we're quite competitive with each other, so it's very good."
Both Bird and Bianchi have been tipped by many as pre-season favourites although the Englishman prefers to adopt shorter-term plans at this stage of the year. "I'm not thinking about the championship just yet," he explained.
"All I want to do is keep on improving and improving; I want to get Barcelona out of the way first, do well at Barcelona, and then see how the season goes. For sure, I'm not thinking about the championship just yet, I'm thinking race-by-race. Obviously, it would be lovely to go for it, but let's wait and see."
Sam also touched upon the battle for British honours. Although Max Chilton is competing with Ocean Racing Technology, testing times state that the leading Briton is likely to be either Bird or iSport's Oliver Turvey. "It'll be very tough because Oliver is obviously extremely strong," continued an unpretentious Sam. "We'll have to wait and see, it's too early to tell…all I know is that he's a very good driver with very good abilities; he's backed by McLaren for a reason but we've raced against each other before and it's always been very close."