Alexander Sims claimed a fourth-placed finish and his first championship points in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship at the 2019 Marrakesh ePrix despite the two BMW I-Andretti Motorsport cars coming to blows mid-way through the race while in a commanding 1-2 position.
Sims set the fifth-fastest time during qualifying with a lap of 1:18.400, but a penalty for his team-mate Antonio Felix Da Costa after exceeding the maximum power output during his qualifying lap promoted the Englishman up to fourth position on the grid.
The race start saw Sims take advantage of Jean-Eric Vergne’s audacious lunge on Sam Bird to move himself up to second, just behind race leader Bird, with his team-mate Felix Da Costa running behind him in third. The Portuguese racer promptly passed Sims and Bird, with Sims following him through to make it a BMW I-Andretti Motorsport 1-2.
The BMWs soon pulled out a comfortable gap to the pack behind, but it was soon obvious that Sims was the faster of the pair. So with less than ten minutes remaining, the Englishman made an audacious overtaking attempt on his team-mate around the outside of turn seven. However, both drivers locked up and the pair connected which resulted in Felix Da Costa crashing into the barrier and out of the Marrakesh ePrix.
Sims was then forced to take evasive action and resumed the action in fourth place, just behind Jerome d’ Ambrosio, Robin Frijns and Sam Bird. The Safety Car was promptly deployed with the field released for a one lap sprint to the end, and despite Sims having the fastest car in the train and having use of Attack Mode for the final tour, the Englishman remained in fourth place as he crossed the line to secure twelve points for himself and the team.
“It was a great shame for the race to finish like that,” said Sims. “I’m naturally disappointed, particularly for the team who worked so hard to give us cars that were so competitive and out-pacing the field.
“We have all learned from this – Antonio, myself and the team – in how we must improve; we are well aware that such incidents are unacceptable. However, what we must do now is take those lessons from it and move forward.
“Although a fourth-place finish and taking points in just my second race is a fantastic result, the circumstances make it a case of what might have been. But the pace is there and I’m confident for more positive results in the coming races.”
The twelve points he scored in Morrocco means he leaves Marrakesh eighth in the points classification.
The next Formula E race is the 2019 Antofagasta Minerals Santiago ePrix, held on 26 January on the streets of the Chillean capital, where Sims and BMW will hope to make amends for what was a fraught race in Marrakesh.