BMW i Andretti Motorsport head to China in the hopes they can reignite the spark they showed in the opening race of the season which saw António Félix da Costa take victory at the Ad Diriyah E-Prix.
Since taking the win the team have struggled with various incidents, including a coming together between Félix da Costa and team-mate Alexander Sims in Marrakesh.
The FIA Formula E championship heads to the new circuit at Sanya, the first time since 2014 it has been back to mainland China and the BMW i team are hoping to capitalise on the iFE.18‘s energy efficiency which aided them to victory in Round 1.
“We will all be experiencing a new track in Sanya, so everyone is starting from scratch.” said Félix da Costa. “I’ve already completed a few laps of the track layout in the simulator – it seems like it will be fun.
“I have the impression that energy efficiency will play a big role again there, as it did in Marrakech, where we did really well. Hopefully it will be similar in China.”
Despite recording to non-finishes, the Portuguese driver remains in the title hunt, seven points behind championship leader Sam Bird.
Return to form in China?
Team-mate Alexander Sims has finished twice in the points out of five races this season and recorded one non-finish, the Brit is hoping to bounce back from a lacklustre performance in Hong Kong.
“I am really looking forward to our debut in Sanya. The track appears to be relatively fast and extensive at first glance, with long straights and hard braking zones.
“After we were unfortunately unable to make use of our package’s strengths in Hong Kong, I hope that we will return to our usual form in Sanya.”
Roger Griffiths, Team Principal for BMW i Andretti Motorsport explained that the team had been doing their homework since the last race and is heading to China with a positive mindset.
“After the disappointment of the race in Hong Kong, the team is looking forward to moving on to Sanya. We analysed in detail why we weren’t as competitive as usual in Hong Kong and we are confident that we will have a strong package again for the future.
“We don’t know all that much about the area in which we will be driving in China, but we are doing tests in the simulator, so we’ll be well prepared.
“We can’t wait to get racing again and to pick up some well-needed points for the overall standings.”
China plays important role in BMW’s electromobility market
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt is looking forward to seeing the brand representation in China, explaining the bigger picture for the German manufacturer.
“Formula E’s return to China is fantastic for the race series and for BMW i as China is an incredibly important market for electromobility.
“BMW i and Formula E’s shared journey got underway with the very first race in Beijing back in 2014, meaning we have come full circle with our return as the BMW i Andretti Motorsport works team.
“In Sanya we hope to make better use of our BMW i drivetrain’s strengths once again and build on the top performances that have already brought us some brilliant results this season.
“Our goal is still to bring home as many points as possible with the BMW iFE.18.” he concluded.