Just Electric

Sims: first season was ‘very up and down’

Alexander Sims had quite the debut season for BMW i Andretti Motorsport in Formula E last season.

From highs such as a podium in the final race in New York to some bad luck and that incident in Marrakesh, it really was a bit of a rollercoaster season.

Sims also thought similarly about last season saying: “Very up and down. I can summarise it by saying there is lots of potential, as probably many people in FE would say with their personal situations. But I certainly could have scored a heck of a lot more points than I did, which is a positive in a way.

“It wasn’t just that we were slow and at the back of the grid the whole time. We were quite often at the front, in the top six, eight positions, and had things go wrong, whether it be technical or my fault or other people crashing into me. Those were the reasons why we lost points on most occasions.

“So that was frustrating but a good thing as well. It was very nice to have a few highlights. Particularly, although it was shrouded due to the late race incident, Marrakesh was quite a highlight in terms of our race pace. And Berlin and New York, obviously with the podium and pole position in those were some really nice points.

“But there were other points during the year that we should have gotten good results. I still look back fondly on many of them.”

Regarding the incident in Marrakesh, it was a moment which was the most memorable, if not the best.

A 1-2 result in a matter of seconds became a fourth-place finish for Sims and a DNF for his teammate, Antonio Felix da Costa.

Sims was frank in his assessment of what happened that afternoon and said: “To be fair to everybody involved in the situation, the buck has to stop with the drivers on track. We were the final piece of the puzzle that had to bare the responsibility of the situation occurring. Ultimately it was us on track that came together.

“But, I think everybody involved probably, from engineers through to management level and us as drivers realised that it was everybody’s responsibility for ultimately getting into a situation where that could manifest itself.

“We all were perfectly honest about it and lots of people took on ownership of the mistake which was really nice to see. There was no finger pointing, saying it wasn’t specifically myself or Antonio’s fault for example. We all messed up here. We all allowed the situation to get to that point. We need to learn how to avoid that in the future.”

Despite it being BMW’s second weekend as a full works team, Sims pointed out that despite the drivers being experienced enough, the team was stronger after what had happened.

He added: “Yes, however we’re all experienced in motorsport and certainly shouldn’t have allowed that situation to occur.It’s not like we were rookies in seeing how a race panned out. That was very much a sporting situation that we should have handled better but we didn’t and we went through a learning phase and I think we’re stronger now for it.”

The British driver scored his maiden podium in Formula E in the final race in New York when he finished in second.

As for the impact this had on him being retained, Sims remained coy on the subject saying: “From my point of view I can’t see it hurting the situation.

“But, I would guess that they based their decision on far more than one weekend’s good performance.

“I believe that they recognised that the whole season there was quite a lot of potential from my side and that was certainly a cherry on top to get a weekend where I proved that the potential was meaningful.

“As to what extent it played you would have to ask them.”

Rob Lomas

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