Sam Bird finally achieved his maiden F3 Euroseries podium at Zandvoort on Saturday, in what proved to be the high point of the weekend for the Manor Motorsport operation.

Japanese racer Koudai Tsukakoshi remains the British squad's best placed driver overall, but an unfortunate weekend at the tough Dutch venue saw the Honda-supported ace saw him forced out of both races, and confined to tenth in the championship. Niall Breen, meanwhile, took ninth in race one, but, having inherited the reverse grid pole for Sunday, was forced out of race two by Robert Wickens. The team's fourth driver, Kazuya Oshima finished 14th and eight, having battled back from 23rd in qualifying.

Bird produced by far the best effort of his debut season in qualifying on Friday with the fourth quickest time, but didn't make the best of starts to round nine. Somehow, he held on to fourth position and, with overtaking limited, remained there to the chequered flag. Although fifth position changed at various points, Yann Clairay became Bird's closest challenger, but could not find a way past the Briton. Then, when racewinner Nico Hulkenberg was excluded due to his car being underweight, Bird was in the perfect position to be promoted to the podium.

"We've worked long and hard to find a new set-up that will suit me in this series, and now I think we've turned the corner," Bird revealed after the race, "I'm looking forward to building on this momentum."

Starting from sixth on the grid as the top eight were reversed, Bird again found passing difficult on the flowing Zandvoort circuit, but was equally able to defend his position from the two Red Bull-backed cars and came home in the same place as he started.

"Towards the end of the race, I still had great pace, but just couldn't find a way past as Zandvoort is a super track, but with few overtaking opportunities" the CJ Motorsport-managed driver admitted, "However, if we can continue to work in this direction, I'm sure there's much more to come. I'd like to say a big thank you to the team for their hard work and to my sponsors for their loyal support."

"We're delighted for Sam that he's achieved his first podium, he was strong all weekend and, hopefully, this is the start of a good run of form," Manor Motorsport team boss John Booth concluded, "We've had some awful luck this year, including this weekend and, hopefully, at the Nurburgring we'll see good finishes for all four cars in both races."