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Sam Bird Brings McLaren Its Maiden Formula E Victory With a Riveting Last-Lap Pass

2024 hankook sao paulo e prix round 4
Sam Bird Riveting Last-Lap Pass in Sao PauloBuda Mendes - Getty Images

Sam Bird brought McLaren to victory lane for the first time in the Sao Paulo E-Prix with a thrilling last-lap overtake on Mitch Evans. The two drivers swapped the lead throughout the final few laps of the season’s third E-Prix, and in the end, Bird was in the right place to dive into turn ten to steal the lead from Evans at the end of the final lap.

Last year, Bird and Evans were Jaguar TCS Racing teammates, and the drivers’ familiarity with each other led them to race each other cleanly.

On the final lap, Evans was losing power, saying that the car was handling like a Gen 1 version; this opened the opportunity for Bird to make the overtake in the second to last corner of the race. Bird entered Turn 10 on the outside and dove through the corner to the inside line, passing Evans and solidifying his lead into the final turn. Bird would go on to finish half a second ahead of his former teammate.

“I had to target the beginning of the year to get a couple of podiums,” Bird said. “I didn’t expect to win. It was a great race between me and Mitch, my old teammate, it was really fair.”

Bird did one step better than a podium by bringing McLaren their first victory in Formula E’s Gen 3 era in the season's fourth round.

This was Bird’s first win since the 2021 season and his first with NEOM McLaren. Bird is one of the few drivers who have been with Formula E since its maiden season in 2014, and this was his 12th win in series history.

Oliver Rowland completed the podium, giving Nissan their first double-podium of the season.

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