BICKMARSH driver Alexander Sims cannot wait for his second year competing in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship after his rookie campaign threw up plenty of highs and lows.
The 31-year-old brought the curtain down on a mixed season with a pole position and podium finish at last month’s New York E-Prix double-header and the BMWi Andretti Motorsport driver admitted his first year in the all-electric series had been a ‘steep learning curve’.
“I knew that this would be a new challenge for me, but the differences are hugely significant from other types of motorsport,” he said.
“A new twisty, tight track every race; a car that’s difficult to drive and can’t go the entire race flat out (but no pit-stops), and unique regulations – which also evolved throughout the season – meant that this was like no other season I’ve competed in before.
“It was a steep learning curve for a series rookie.
“I’d prepared myself for that, but it even surpassed expectation.
“Each race threw up new challenges – new weather conditions, the new demands on your attention, but this made every weekend extremely exciting and I relished the challenge to push myself and step up my game in a new discipline.
“There were certainly times when rookie errors occurred, but I learned from them and took this knowledge from one race to the next, feeling the improvement as the season went along.”
Sims finished 13th in the championship standings with 57 points, 42 points behind team-mate António Félix da Costa who ended the season in sixth.
Sims may have finished higher up the standings had he not had a string of bad luck and six consecutive races without scoring a point, but despite that, he stressed it was all part and parcel of racing.
“Some of the races threw up unexpected and unwanted surprises,” he said.
“Unfortunately, on several occasions I ended up in collisions that were caused by other drivers and they hampered my results.
“But that’s racing, and part of what makes Formula E so exciting to watch.
“It was hard to go from points-scoring positions in Marrakesh and Santiago to having a run of difficult races.
“However, after each one we went through the race and learned the lessons we could.
“For some, there simply weren’t any, it was a case of wrong place at the wrong time.”
While there were plenty of really frustrating moments throughout his rookie season in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, Sims felt his performance in New York was the culmination of the hard work put in throughout the campaign.
“Getting pole position and a podium in the final race of the season felt like a just reward for all the work this season; for overcoming the moments of frustration, for putting in the hard graft and continually learning,” he added.
“It was great to be able to give that to the team too, who really deserved it.
“Everyone gave it their all at each race; the team did an excellent job of preparing the car, and I did my homework and applied myself as best as possible.
“It could have been two podiums in New York, as I let António through to help with his championship position in the penultimate race and took fourth place.
“Of course, I’d have preferred to have won the final round, but it was good nonetheless to end the season on a high.
“I’ve made significant improvements when it comes to my Formula E racing technique and I’m hoping to put everything I’ve learnt to good use with another season in Formula E.
“The different challenges and considerations have given me fresh experiences to make me a better driver across the board, so bring on next season!”
The 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship starts with a double-header at the Ad Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia on 22nd November and 23rd November.