Due to clashes in his upcoming Formula E schedule, Sam Bird has relinquished his seat at AF Corse alongside Davide Rigon for this upcoming season of the World Endurance Championship, which kicks off in three weeks time at Silverstone.
The Italian team confirmed on Tuesday that Miguel Molina will replace Bird for the upcoming endurance campaign. Molina had served as a reserve and third driver for AF Corse in the past three seasons, so this seems like the logical replacement for Bird, who has been driving the Ferrari 488 in the GTE Pro category since 2016, becoming a staple in Ferrari’s plans.
Even though the full Formula E schedule is yet to be released, some mid-season clashes left Bird with a bit of a dilemma, causing the Brit to choose a full season in Formula E over his WEC duties. Bird currently races for Envision Virgin Racing in the all-electric series alongside Dutchman Robin Frijns, and is amongst one of the most experienced drivers in the Formula E field.
“Car number 71 will have a new team, made up of Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina, who already drove the AF Corse 488 GTE in long distance races as third driver. The Spaniard takes the place of Sam Bird, who has been the official Competizioni GT driver since 2016 and whose racing programs will be announced in due course.” reads an official statement directly from the Maranello-based marque.
Bird is a previous LMP2 WEC champion with G-Drive Racing back in 2015, and placed second in the drivers’ standings in 2016 for AF Corse, but now the seven-time Formula E winner will be looking to fully focus on the all-electric series in 2019/20, with another potential championship push on the offing.
The 2019/20 Formula E campaign begins on November 22nd, with a double-header opening round in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.