Felix Da Costa and Sims offer insight at BMW heading to Rome

by Nathan Hine
Antonio Felix Da Costa - BMW I-Andretti Motorsport - 2018 Ad Diriyah ePrix

With the European leg of the 2018-19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship upon us as the 2019 Rome ePrix gets underway on 13 April, the two BMW I-Andretti Motorsport drivers, points leader, Antonio Felix Da Costa, and Formula E rookie Alexander Sims have discussed their season so far in a double interview courtesy of BMW I-Andretti Motorsport.

In evaluating what has been a challenging season up until this point, both Antonio Felix Da Costa and Alexander Sims have acknowledged the highs and lows that have come out of the first six races.

As championship leader, Felix Da Costa has looked to the positives heading to Rome, “With one win, three podiums and first place in the drivers’ standings, we had a really strong first half of the season.

“Since it became clear that BMW i Motorsport would be entering Formula E as a works team, I worked hard to be ready for Season 5.

“Now, seeing BMW i Andretti Motorsport as one of the top teams, is great validation for me – and great motivation to keep working just as hard.”

Alexander Sims has had a tougher time of things in recent rounds and heads to Rome fourteenth in the championship classification.

“In the races to date, we have consistently shown great potential. We weren’t always able to get the results, for a variety of reasons, which we have analysed so that we can do better in the second half of the season.

“The BMW iFE.18’s performance gives us optimism for the coming races.”

When asked about the clash between the two BMW team-mates at the 2019 Marrakesh ePrix, the BMW pair seemed united in suggesting that the incident has helped to unite the team for the remainder of the season.

The first thing that has to be said is that the incident, as disappointing as it was on the track, brought us even closer together as a team.

“Looking back, many things that went wrong came together in that moment. We spoke about the incident openly and honestly afterwards, and have learned our lessons from it.”

Felix Da Costa followed a similar vain and added, “Alexander is right. In retrospect, the day made the team incredibly close. The way we handled the situation proved that we are a family. I’m really proud of that.”

The drivers are very positive about the package that they have underneath them and is confident in the efficiency of the drivetrain.

Series leader Felix Da Costa commented in relation to the BMW drivetrain,“The BMW i engineers have done a fantastic job. Our drivetrain is fast and efficient – simply put, we have a really good package at our disposal; that’s despite it being the first time that BMW i engineers have developed a drivetrain for racing rather than production. It presented them with totally new challenges. Hats off to their achievement.”

“I see the biggest potential off track. We are getting to know each other as a team better all the time, and are working together better all the time too, but of course there is always room for improvement. I want to help as best I can, because I am proud of the whole team.”

Sims also sees the drivetrain is very strong, but as a rookie acknowledges the need to try and develop his driving style to make the most out of the package,.

“Our drivetrain really is very efficient. We can tell because we always do best in races where saving as much energy as possible makes the difference. That’s extremely important in Formula E.”

“I consistently see that I have the speed to be up thereat the front but Formula E is so complex that as a driver you have to get the maximum out of every session to ultimately bring home the results.

“You also have to adjust your driving style very quickly from pure performance in qualifying to efficiency in the race. I’m working on these aspects. It’s really helping to have an experienced man such as António at my side.”

So heading to the 2019 Rome ePrix, the BMW I-Andretti Motorsport duo of Alexander Sims and Antonio Felix Da Costa seem united and will be vying for a strong result around the Circuito Cittadino dell’ EUR in the heart of the Italian capital. The BMW pairing know that a strong result here is important for their chances in both the teams and drivers championship come the end of the season.

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