Sims misses out on top-ten finish at Monaco E-Prix

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MOTORSPORT

A COLLISION in the closing laps of the Monaco E-Prix denied Alexander Sims the chance to claim a top-ten finish in the ninth round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

Having challenged and defended hard for positions, contact in the dying embers of the race forced the Bickmarsh driver down the order and classified 13th.

Both Sam Bird and Lucas di Grassi challenged Sims into Turn Three, with Sims having to take evasive action from a hard-braking da Costa ahead while defending from Bird on the inside.

As a result, Sims didn’t see di Grassi on the outside and collided with him, with Bird then able to pass on the inside.

The incident ultimately ended di Grassi’s race, with Sims later receiving a five-place grid penalty for the next race in Berlin on Saturday, 25th May.

Regarding the incident with di Grassi, Sims said: “Antonio and Sébastien were blocking and slowed a lot in the braking zone.

“I opened up the corner to avoid hitting Antonio, while aware Sam Bird was on the inside.

“I had no idea that Lucas was there on the outside, trying to overtake both Sam and me.

“I clashed with him and unfortunately ended his race.

“The five-place grid penalty I’ve received is only fair in the circumstances, but it is a shame as it was completely unintentional.

“Unfortunately, we’re in the situation again where the result could have been pretty positive but in Formula E things can quickly change from a smooth race to a complicated one, and it ended with a disappointing few laps.

“Now, we’ve got to move on and keep plugging away as the overall pace and package of the car is there and it’s strong – it deserves good results.”

Sims showed his pace around the streets of Monaco during Free Practice, setting the fourth-fastest time of the first session.

This continued in qualifying, with the BMWi Andretti Motorsport driver setting a lap time of 50.351 seconds to put him seventh and just 0.104 seconds outside of the Super Pole top-six shoot-out.

However, a penalty for Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans promoted Sims to a sixth-place grid position.

Sims had a strong start to the Monaco E-Prix, maintaining sixth place and was soon leading a queue of cars attempting to get around Sébastien Buemi in fifth.

While trying to attack, Sims also had to defend from Alex Lynn behind, who was looking to pass while battling with Sims’ BMWi Andretti Motorsport team-mate António Félix da Costa.

With da Costa in attack mode and alongside Lynn, Sims let his title-challenging team-mate through into sixth.

From that point, Sims had to defend his position hard while avoiding an unpredictable battle ahead as da Costa and Buemi jostled for fifth. Both Sam Bird and Lucas di Grassi challenged Sims into Turn Three, with Sims having to take evasive action from a hard-braking da Costa ahead while defending from Bird on the inside.

As a result, Sims didn’t see di Grassi on the outside and collided with him, with Bird then able to pass on the inside.

The incident ultimately ended di Grassi’s race, with Sims later receiving a five-place grid penalty for the next race in Berlin.