Fastest in practice and only pipped to pole position in the dying seconds of qualifying, it looked like Imola was shaping up to be a good weekend for iSport’s Sam Bird. But that was before the racing began.
In the post-qualifying press conference he said: “Anything can happen in motorsport, everyone knows that. It’s going to be a long day tomorrow and a long day Sunday.”
And so it proved.
A poor start from the front row in the feature race saw him drop to eighth, where he settled down to battle with his team-mate Marcus Ericsson, ART’s Jules Bianchi and the two Arden cars. His race ended early when he was hit by Ericsson as the Swede recovered from an off-track excursion.
The retirement left him starting near the back in Sunday’s sprint race and he was sent into retirement by Super Nova’s Johnny Cecotto, the Venezuelan being given a post-race penalty for causing the accident.
Photos by Drew Gibson and Malcolm Griffiths, GP2 Media Service