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Formula E

McLaren looking to build on 'good momentum'

McLaren heads into the Tokyo E-Prix in a bouyant mood after Sam Bird's recent triumph in São Paulo.

Bird São Paulo
To news overview © Simon Galloway / Formula E

McLaren Formula E driver Sam Bird heads into this weekend's inaugural Tokyo E-Prix looking to build on his first victory in the series for almost three years.

Bird's win in Brazil a fortnight ago ended a barren run dating back to 2021, and gave McLaren its first taste of success in Formula E, which has resulted in many paddock observers now viewing them as dark horses for the title.

The Briton is again driving with confidence, and despite finishing only 13th quickest in a damp first practice, he is confident solid points can be scored in arguably the biggest race in the championship's history.

“I’m very excited to head to Tokyo, especially after such a strong weekend last time out in São Paulo," said Bird.

"Tokyo is a great addition to the Formula E calendar, and I’m confident it’ll be a very exciting event. There are lots of different corner types and I’ve heard it’s particularly bumpy in some sections, so that’ll be an additional challenge.

“We’re carrying good momentum into round five and hopefully we can continue to score decent points for the rest of the season, starting in Tokyo this weekend.”

'We have a car that can fight'

It is not just Bird who has been driving superbly for McLaren in the opening stages of season 10, as team-mate Jake Hughes' speed has been impressive.

Whilst Hughes has fewer points than Bird, he has again demonstrated his ability to drive amongst the frontrunners. He comes into the weekend, however, on the back of retiring in Brazil, whilst he was also only P19 in FP1 in Tokyo.

The times will, though, tumble considerably as it is a completely new venue for all the drivers, as is the nation for Hughes as it is his first time in the Japanese capital.

"I’ve always wanted to visit, let alone race there, so to get to do both is very special," said Hughes.

“I’m heading into this race following a bit of a difficult result in São Paulo two weeks ago, but as a team, we are coming off the last event with a great result, so we’re in a strong position with the car.

"We’ve definitely improved it from last season - we've shown that in the last few races - so we’re heading into Tokyo with confidence and the knowledge that we have a car that can fight.

“I’m looking forward to this week, and getting back towards scoring points and fighting for podiums.”

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