Bird takes full responsibility for Jaguar clash in Hyderabad

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Bird takes full responsibility for Jaguar clash in Hyderabad

Misjudging his entry into ATTACK MODE resulted in Sam Bird taking himself and his teammate out of the race - with silverware firmly in Jaguar TCS Racing's sights.


It looked to be a promising weekend ahead for the Jaguar TCS Racing team. However, a rare mistake from Jaguar TCS Racing's Sam Bird during the inaugural Greenko Hyderabad E-Prix resulted in him taking himself and his teammate out of the race. 

WATCH: Re-live the Greenko Hyderabad E-Prix

A Jaguar-powered car had topped every session of the Formula E weekend up until the clash, with Envision Racing's Sebastien Buemi fastest in Free Practice 1, Bird topping the timesheets in FP2 and Jaguar's Mitch Evans securing Julius Baer Pole Position. 


However, any chance of a victory was wiped out when Bird collided with teammate Evans at Turn 3 and took them both out of the race. 

"Words can't even begin to say how sorry I am to everyone involved in my mistake in today's race," Bird said on his Instagram Stories after the event. "I take full responsibility and want to take this opportunity to apologise to my team and teammate and the other drivers involved. 

"We had a great car today, and I let my team down. I feel really low but we have a race in two weeks to try and correct it. The good thing is we have a fast car."


Although it appeared that Bird was trying to pass Nissan's Sacha Fenestraz but misjudged it, he revealed to Autosport that he was attempting to take ATTACK MODE at the hairpin and "got it wrong". 

"I stayed flat out to try and keep a good position on (Maximilian) Guenther. With going flat out and pushing the regen paddle, from the higher speed, I just locked every wheel and slid."

Speaking after the incident, Jaguar's team principal, James Barclay, emphasised his pride in the team regardless of the double DNF.

Nevertheless, with the performance of the Jaguar powertrain clear for all to see over the weekend - not least with eventual P2 finisher Nick Cassidy looking like he had almost a lap's energy in hand on the leaders - it was a costly and potentially pivotal moment.

The British marque had made huge leaps in Diriyah and in Hyderabad and silverware was a distinct possibility.

"Sometimes mistakes happen," Barclay stated. "A small mistake can have massive consequences, but it is what it is, and we can't change that now. We look at the base performance from the team. It has been incredibly strong today. All we can do is turn around and focus on the next weekend from this."

The error also impacted other drivers, including the Maserati MSG Racing of Maximilian Guenther, who was caught out when trying to take ATTACK MODE and found himself trapped. Running in sixth on Lap 13, when the Jaguar shunt happened, Guenther lost a lot of time and would recover to 13th. 

Fenestraz would also become stuck in between the two Jaguars and end up having to finish in 12th, despite sitting in fourth - with his best drive to-date in his rookie season - when the incident occurred.

Hyderabad was the second DNF for Bird this season after failing to reach the chequered flag in Mexico City following a suspected driveshaft issue.