BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Antonio Félix da Costa and Alexander Sims finished twelfth and fourteenth in the eleventh ABB Formula E race of the season in Bern, Switzerland on June 22.
Team principal Roger Griffiths said that both cars had technical issues in practice. The issues were resolved, but there was not enough time left to tweak the cars’ qualifying setup. As a result, Sims started seventeenth and Félix da Costa qualified twentieth.
Both drivers moved up, with Félix da Costa running ninth when an eight-car incident on the first lap brought out a red flag. The cars were placed in qualifying order for the restart, so Félix da Costa was faced with having to make a climb through the pack again. Both cars moved up, but it was difficult to pass on the narrow track. While the iFE.18s ran competitive times, they were not able to move into points contention. The race win went to Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne, who extended his lead in drivers’ points going into the season finale doubleheader in Brooklyn, New York, on July 13-14.
Félix da Costa said afterward, “No points—that was not a good day for us. Unfortunately, it began with a disappointing qualifying. There are reasons for us lacking pace, but we will still have to analyze them closely. From our grid positions, it was difficult to make much progress in the race. The result is obviously a set-back for me in the drivers’ championship. It is now important to end the season with as positive results as possible in New York.”
Even with a pair of wins in Brooklyn, Félix da Costa would have a very steep uphill climb to the title. Like Formula One, Formula E awards 25 points for a win, eighteen points for second, and on down to one point for tenth. Félix da Costa goes into Brooklyn fifth in drivers’ standings with 82 points, compared to 130 for Vergne.—Brian Morgan
[Photo courtesy BMW AG.]