GP2 - Bird: Russian Time can be pacesetter

Sam Bird believes his Bahrain sprint race victory proves new squad Russian Time can establish itself as the benchmark in GP2.

AutoSport

The Briton's victory came in only the team's fourth race, and after a pre-season compromised by the late takeover of former champion team iSport.

Bird believes such rapid progress is evidence Russian Time can go on to become one of the category's leading teams.

"Many people forget this is a brand new team," Bird told AUTOSPORT.

"They came to the last pre-season test when it was mostly wet and they have very limited experience on the new compound Pirelli tyres, so to be able to win in their fourth race is really, really good.

"We probably still don't have the edge compared to Carlin, Racing Engineering and Rapax, but we are there or thereabouts.

"I believe if we can continue on our learning curve it won't be too long until we are a pacesetter."

Bird believes the team has plenty of scope to improve further, particularly given the break between Bahrain and the next round at Barcelona on May 11-12.

"We made some changes [before the Bahrain sprint race] without the luxury of going back to the factory and having a proper rethink," he explained.

"Now we have a proper break we can delve into the problems more and I think we can be even more competitive come Barcelona.

"I believe in the guys I have behind me - actually without the drive-through in Malaysia we stood a chance of winning the feature race on pace.

"It's still very early days, but we've had a nice start to the season and we'll keep on learning and improving. It's an ambitious target but we still have everything to play for."

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