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BIRD CAN'T BE STOPPED IN SAUDI ARABIA; FORMULA E: WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP.

Byline: AARON FLANAGAN

BRITAIN'S Sam Bird stormed to victory in the opening race of the Formula E season in Saudi Arabia.

The Envision Virgin driver extended his record of being the only man to win a race in every season of the series, ripping through the front of the field from fifth on the grid.

He finished ahead of Porsche's Andre Lotterer and Mercedes' Stoffel Vandoorne, who secured surprise podiums on each of their team's debut races.

Vandoorne had led the race before Bird overtook him with 10 minutes left on the clock.

"This is all the hard work coming to fruition," Bird said.

"It's a great start to the year but the hard work doesn't stop.

"We have a race tomorrow and there is huge potential in the car, so we need to maximise that."

Reigning champ Jean-Eric Vergne, who has won the last two titles, retired from the race while running in the middle of the field.

The drivers return to the track today for round two of the opening weekend double-header - but the odds will be stacked against Bird as he goes out first in qualifying on the back of his opening day success.

CAPTION(S):

OFF TO A FLIER Sam Bird celebrates

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:AARON FLANAGAN
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 23, 2019
Words:206
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