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Sao Paulo win is a huge boost, but there’s still work to be done – Bird

Sam Bird heaped praise on NEOM McLaren powertrain partner Nissan after securing the brand’s first victory in Formula E’s GEN3 era in Sao Paulo.

The win was also Bird’s first of the current generation of car – which was introduced last year – and McLaren’s maiden one in the category. But while he was quick to point out the hard work McLaren and Nissan have done to bridge the gap to the class-leading Jaguar and Porsche powertrains, he admitted there’s still work to do.

“I feel like we’ve really worked well with [Nissan] and things have come on really well quite quickly. We’re not where we want to be yet but we’re definitely making some progress,” he said. “It is a huge boost, but there’s still work to be done. Jag, Porsche, Andretti, Envision, DS, Maserati, Nissan, there’s so many other brilliant teams that at any given time can be winning or scoring podiums so we need to learn from this, understand why it was really good, understand what we did well, what we did badly, and then try and score some more good points in Tokyo.”

Nissan has often been strong in qualifying trim, but less so in races during the GEN3 era. The race in Brazil featured two safety car periods, but factory driver Oliver Rowland, who also finished on the podium, downplayed their significance for the Japanese manufacturer, saying they “didn’t make much difference to our actual targets,” and, like Bird, highlighted the off-track work both teams have been doing to move forwards. He also fired a warning that Nissan are anticipating a big step forward next season when the hardware homologation cycle reset.