Bird believes he deserves F1 seat with or without GP2 title
Sam Bird feels like he deserves a shot at Formula One no matter what happens at the GP2 decider in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
Bird has won five races this year, including feature race wins at Monaco, Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps. He goes into this weekend's season finale seven points adrift of championship leader Fabio Leimer with a chance of winning the title.
However, he believes his season has been enough to warrant serious consideration from the top teams even without the championship to his name.
"I'd like to think so, I think that five wins is a good number, but I'd like to make it six or seven [in Abu Dhabi]," he told ESPN. "There's not too many, maybe not more than three or four people, who have won more than five in a season. I think I can name three so it's a fairly exclusive club of people who have won five or more races in a year in GP2. I do think that it warrants people from the other paddock having a look."
However, Bird is well aware he is competing with drivers with substantial financial backing to bring to teams.
"The money situation is very difficult, but I think I can speak for most junior drivers making their way up to Formula One when I say that. There are other people in my situation who have proven themselves this year in whatever category and don't have the funding to move up or make it to the pinnacle of their chosen path in motorsport.
"It is a frustrating time for everybody concerned in racing unless you've already made it to the big time. It's tough but we're working very hard, my management at CJ Motorsport and myself. We are working all the time to try to ensure my future is a bright one and can potentially be in the Formula One paddock."
Bird will start second on the grid in Saturday's feature race, two places ahead of title rival Leimer.