Find out more about our subscriptions
You are on the classic version of Autosport. Visit to see our new site.

Sam Bird demoted to back of Spa Formula Renault 3.5 race two grid

Sam BirdFormula Renault 3.5 championship leader Sam Bird has been put to the back of the grid for the second race of the weekend at Spa after his car ran out of fuel during qualifying.

The ISR driver slowed on his final flying lap in Sunday morning's session, coming to a halt on the outside of Blanchimont corner.

Championship rules stipulate that any car that cannot provide a fuel sample must be excluded from the results of qualifying, meaning Bird moves from third on the grid to 26th.

"It was a simple miscalculation," Bird told AUTOSPORT. "In the wet you want to keep running until the chequered flag, and I was improving on that lap and going for pole.

"It's a shame, because I'd built up a nice buffer in the championship [14 points] and now some of the other guys have a chance to erode that or even take it away from me."

Bird added that he will stay calm going into Sunday afternoon's race, despite the disappointment.

"It's the sort of thing I could get flustered about, but it is what it is," he said. "I've just got to go out there now and have some fun overtaking as many cars as I can.

"Who knows, maybe I'll have a stonker of a race and pick up some points."

Bird's former GP2 rival Jules Bianchi will move up to take the Briton's third place, while Lewis Williamson is promoted to the second row as a result of the reshuffle.

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
Williamson to complete GP3 season
Williamson extends Status GP3 deal
Williamson returns to GP3 with Status
Red Bull drops Williamson for da Costa
Team called Williamson Spa strategy
Stanaway injures back at Spa
Magnussen wins rain-hit second race
Magnussen seals wet second pole
Sorensen wins spectacular FR3.5 race
Magnussen takes first pole at Spa
Bird fastest in FR3.5 Friday session