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Formula E 2024: Sam Bird switches from Jaguar to McLaren

The third driver change for the 2024 Formula E season has been confirmed: Sam Bird succeeds Rene Rast at McLaren to become Jake Hughes’ new teammate

After Nick Cassidy and Robin Frijns, Sam Bird now completes a triple-rochade regarding driver changes for the upcoming 2024 Formula E World Championship.

Cassidy led the way with the announcement of his move from Envision to the Jaguar cockpit last occupied by Bird. Shortly afterwards, Frijns was presented as Cassidy’s successor at Envision. And now Bird has also found his new team.

Bird docks with McLaren to take over the cockpit from Rene Rast. The ex-Jaguar driver from Great Britain thus becomes the new teammate of Jake Hughes, who is confirmed at McLaren for a second season. This means McLaren will compete in the 2024 Formula E season with an all-British driver duo.

“It is a pleasure to welcome Sam to the McLaren family. Throughout his time in Formula E, Sam has demonstrated his impressive talent,” said McLaren boss Zak Brown.

“We can’t wait for him to bring his experience and expertise to us to help McLaren achieve further success in its tenth season [of Formula E history]. Together with Jake, I believe he will form one of the strongest driver pairings in the field,” Brown said.

Sam Bird, Sebastien Buemi, Jean-Eric Vergne, Lucas di Grassi (stock image)
Sam Bird, Sebastien Buemi, Jean-Eric Vergne, Lucas di Grassi (stock image)

Bird himself commented on the third team change of his Formula E career, saying: “I’m extremely excited to get started with McLaren’s Formula E team. It’s a special feeling to become part of a team that has so much tradition and prestige.”

“We are aware that we have some work to do to get to where we want to be, which is at the top of the field. I can’t wait to become part of the team and start preparing for the season. I am extremely motivated to celebrate success together with the team,” said Bird.

In Formula E, which has existed since 2014, Bird has so far driven for the Virgin, Envision and Jaguar teams. With 114 contested races, he is one of the veterans in the electric racing series. Jean-Eric Vergne also has 114. Two drivers have contested more races, namely all 116 since the premiere in Beijing in 2014: Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi.

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