Top ten finish and points for Sims at Berlin E-Prix
BICKMARSH driver Alexander Sims is confident BMWi Andretti Motorsport are on course for more positive weekends in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship after the team picked up a double points finish at the Berlin E-Prix on Saturday.
Sims drove a determined and clean race to finish seventh to claim his first points haul since the Santiago E-Prix and making it the first time both BMWi Andretti Motorsport drivers have finished in the points during the season.
“It was a really positive weekend for me and the team,” said Sims.
“Practice went well and we were able to translate this into qualifying, getting through to Super Pole.
“It’s a real shame we had the grid penalty on a track where we were so strong.
"I feel we executed the race well, making the most of energy saving opportunities at the start to build up a surplus compared to others around me.
"It looked like the second half would go further in my favour.
“Once I got past Oliver Rowland I had a clear track and was set to push on, but the Full Course Yellow levelled the field and gave everyone enough energy to get to the end, which was a shame as we could have been fighting for a podium.”
For BMW’s home race on the temporary track at Tempelhof Airport, Berlin, Sims set the third fastest time in the groups stages of qualifying with a fastest lap of 1:07.728 putting him through to Super Pole.
In this top-six shootout, Sims set a fastest lap of 1:08.017 to put him sixth on the timing sheets.
A five-place grid penalty incurred at the last race in Monaco meant Sims would start the race 11th.
Sims had a clean start to the Berlin E-Prix and during the opening laps was able to conserve energy in his No.27 BMW iFE.18 while in traffic.
With pace and energy on his side, Sims began to progress through the order, taking advantage of a battle between Pascal Wehrlein and Rowland to move up to tenth place, then passing Gary Paffett for ninth place shortly after.
At the halfway point, Sims had chased down Rowland up ahead and as he made the manoeuvre to pass, Rowland veered off the racing line to take Attack Mode, with Sims moving into eighth place.
Then, with a clear track ahead and strong energy reserves, Sims began to push on and chase down the field in front.
He made quick progress, picking up Attack Mode to increase his forward charge.
However, a Full Course Yellow was called for a stranded Alex Lynn, who was running in seventh position. With Lynn’s retirement, Sims climbed another place.
The race was restarted with nine minutes and a lap left on the clock, yet the long Full Course Yellow meant that Sims’ energy advantage had been neutralised.
Sims continued to push forward until the chequered flag and crossed the finish line seventh, claiming six points for his championship tally.
“I’m really pleased to have had a positive result and scored points – including the first double points score for BMW," said Sims.
"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.”
The next round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship takes place in Bern, Switzerland, on Saturday, 22nd June.