Double points finish for BMW I-Andretti Motorsport in Berlin

by Nathan Hine
Antonio Felix Da Costa - BMW i-Andretti Motorsport - Berlin ePrix

BMW I-Andretti Motorsport enjoyed a positive outing at home for the 2019 Berlin ePrix with both Antonio Felix Da Costa and Alexander Sims claiming well-deserved points around the Berlin Templehof Airport Circuit on the outskirts of the German capital. The result has seen the team close up to within eleven points of Mahindra Racing in their battle for fifth in the constructors championship with the Indian outfit with just three races to go in the 2018-19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

It was another positive race for Felix Da Costa who drove a strong race to finish fourth in Berlin which means that he is now twenty points off championship leader and defending Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne. Although, the Portuguese racer had mixed feelings after the ePrix, as after running a strong second by the first Virtual Safety Car, he fell away during the second half of the race as he was struggling with car balance, losing two crucial positions to Sebastien Buemi and points leader Vergne. So after the race the Portuguese racer said:

“Fourth place means a few valuable points for me. At the same time, however, I have lost ground to other drivers. I was struggling with understeer today. The car was very efficient, but I did not have the perfect balance. Unfortunately, I was no longer able to match the pace of the front-runners after the yellow phase. Fourth place was the best I could manage.” 

Alexander Sims meanwhile drove a determined and clean race to secure a strong seventh place finish in Berlin to claim his first points finish since the 2019 Santiago ePrix back in January. Despite only starting eleventh on the grid for BMW’s home race courtesy of a five-place grid penalty following his incident with Lucas Di Grassi in Monaco, Sims had great pace and excess energy, so soon made his way past Gary Paffett and Pascal Wehrlein after the German came off worse in his battle with Oliver Rowland.

Then Sims armed his first Attack Mode and soon caught up to the back of Rowland, and with the Nissan e. dams driver having to arm his extra power mode, Sims moved up another place. Then with a clear track ahead and having abundant energy reserves, Sims soon began to reel in the front runners until the Full Course Yellow courtsey of Alex Lynn’s stranded Jaguar neutralised his energy advantage which ultimately meant that he finished the race in seventh place.

After the race, Sims was delighted with a strong finish which sees him add six points to his points tally to move him up to 24 points in sixteenth in the championship standings.

He said: “I’m really pleased to have had a positive result and scored points – including the first double points score for BMW. It was a nice reward for all the hard work the team has been putting in behind the scenes. So many things can happen in Formula E and fortunes can change so quickly. It’s great to get a positive result and I’m confident that we can keep putting ourselves in a good position.”

So after a strong showing from BMW at home, the 2018-19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship will head to the latest addition to the Formula E calendar at Bern in Switzerland on 22 June to see who will reign supreme in the fight for the title.

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