until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula E

McLaren claims first Formula E victory in sensational style

by Josh Suttill
2 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Sam Bird earned McLaren its first ever victory in Formula E with a sensational last lap move on his former team-mate Mitch Evans at the 2024 Sao Paulo E-Prix.

This is only Bird's third weekend in McLaren colours, having left Jaguar after a bruising couple of years alongside Evans.

But Bird made his way back onto the top step of the Formula E podium for the first time since the second New York E-Prix in July 2021.

From fifth on the grid, Bird made his way to the front in the early stages of the race which was dominated by the peloton-style racing that the paddock expected pre-race.

But he faced stiff competition from Evans, both factory Porsches and reigning champion Jake Dennis.

Ultimately it proved to be Evans vs Bird in the closing stages, which featured three added laps for multiple safety car periods.

Evans passed Bird with a handful of laps to go (below) and it initially appeared like he might shoot off into the distance, but Bird stuck with him and dropped those behind him.

Bird shaped up for the move and on the last lap, he sent it around the outside of Evans at the long left-hander with an overtake that will surely go down in Formula E folklore.

It moves Bird to 12 all-time race wins, placing him third overall, just one victory behind fellow Formula E originals Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi.

Evans appeared to be suffering with derates which led to him going defensive to the inside and leaving going all the way around his outside the only option for Bird.

Oliver Rowland produced some last-lap magic of his own to make it two Nissan-powered cars on the podium.

He pipped the polesitting factory Porsche of Pascal Wehrlein and Dennis to the final place on the podium.

Antonio Felix da Costa returned to form with his first points of the season for a sixth place finish, ahead of the DS Penskes of Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne whose race pace couldn't match their qualifying pace.

Maximilian Guenther bounced back from a sizeable penalty to claim two points for ninth ahead of Buemi.

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