Roger Griffiths, the Team Principal of the BMW i Andretti Motorsport team, says it was disappointing to see Jake Dennis’ chances of winning the 2020-21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship end in the wall after a technical failure.
Dennis went into the final race of the season only four points behind Nyck de Vries in the Drivers’ Championship, and after second placed Edoardo Mortara and fourth placed Mitch Evans were eliminated in a first lap crash, the Briton was in prime position to take the title.
However, on the first lap following the restart, Dennis was out of the race after his rear axle locked up, pushing him into the wall. He was obviously distraught as he got out of the car, and it ended BMW’s attempt at winning the title in their final year as a manufacturer entrant in Formula E.
“We came into this final race with a really good chance of winning the World Championship with Jake,” said Griffiths. “Practice sessions went not quite as smoothly as yesterday and in qualifying he again just missed Super Pole by a few hundredths of a second.
“Still, he was in a good position having most of his title contenders behind him. Then at the restart after the unfortunate collision between Mitch Evans and Edoardo Mortara we suspect a technical issue with Jakes car that we yet have to analyse.
“The rear axle locked and Jake was just a passenger. At that point his championship hopes were over, but I told him: ‘You must have had a pretty good season if you are disappointed with third place in the championship’.
“If someone had offered that position to us after the first two rounds, we would have bitten his hand off. Jake did an amazing job in his rookie season with his two race wins.”
Team-mate Maximilian Günther was already out of contention for the title heading into the final day, and on Sunday, he was unable to find the set-up necessary to be a points contender. He ended the race in fifteenth and the championship sixteenth.
“Maximilian went in the wrong direction with his setup and didn’t really have a competitive car in this race unfortunately,” said Griffiths.
Griffiths says BMW and Andretti Formula E can be proud of what they have achieved during their partnership, and he has thanked everyone for their hard work. He had hoped for the partnership to continue, but he remains confident heading into season eight when Andretti becomes its own team once more in Formula E.
“Today we are disappointed, but once all has settled in, I think we can be very proud of what we have achieved together as BMW and Andretti Formula E and of the hard work that everyone has put into it to get us to this point,” he said.
“Of course, we would have loved to continue like this but it is not to be. We are excited what Season 8 swill bring for us. I say thank you to everybody, not only the team on the front line but also everybody in the background who helped to make this project a success. Thank you very much!”