Hersham’s Sam Bird saw his World Series by Renault 3.5 title hopes suffer a blow at the weekend, but he is still a star in his boss’s eyes.

The 25-year-old ISR driver, who was testing in France last week for F1 team Mercedes AMG Petronas, finished 10th and fourth in two rounds at the Hungaroring on Saturday and Sunday.

Results in Hungary have seen him slip back to third in the drivers’ championship race and he is 27 points adrift of leader Robin Frijns.

But ISR team principle Igor Salaquarda admitted Bird was not to blame for the disappointments.

“We really struggled with the set-up of the cars and were never able to give our drivers a package they could compete properly with,” he said.

“The fact he managed to get a point  and narrowly missed out on a podium is quite exceptional and testament to his considerable talent.”

Bird’s next WSR championship outing is at the Paul Ricard circuit in France on September 29.