Bird feared Marrakesh retirement amid issues
15 January 2018 – DS Virgin Racing's Sam Bird feared mechanical gremlins would force him out of the Marrakesh ePrix, as he collected a podium finish.
Bird entered the weekend atop the standings, and qualified in second place, a position he preserved during the opening stint of the race, behind Sébastien Buemi.
Bird, though, lost pace and was overhauled by Felix Rosenqvist, and slipped further away from the lead battle during the second stint of the race.
Bird nonetheless maintained third position, finishing eight-tenths clear of Jaguar's Nelson Piquet Jr.
"We've had an issue since Hong Kong which you wouldn't have noticed from the outside," Bird explained.
"We had tried to address it but it came back, and it came back big time in the race.
"We actually noticed it a lot in practice, during a 200kW lap attempt – I noticed some difficulties with the rear of the car and I came in early from my run.
"We thought 'do we change it, do we not?', and anyway we said no, let's not change the component and unfortunately it's come to bite us a little bit in the race.
"But still, third place is strong points and it's a third place with a big issue!
"I didn't think I was going to finish the race in the first car, I thought I was going to be pulling over and retiring so actually we were quite relieved when the Full Course Yellow came and saved my bacon a little bit."
Bird holds second in the standings, four points behind Rosenqvist.