Alexander Sims in the #27 BMW iFE.18 took the pole for the Sunday ABB Formula E race in Brooklyn and went on to finish second. Both the pole and the podium finish were firsts for Sims, running the thirteenth race in his rookie season in the series. On Saturday his teammate António Félix da Costa finished third, moving up from eighth on the grid. Both BMW racers finished in the points in both races; Sims was fourth on Saturday and Félix da Costa was ninth on Sunday.
Both racers stayed out of trouble on Saturday in a race with multiple incidents and a safety car period. The win went to Sebastien Buemi, who drove for Nissan E.Dams. Going into the thirteenth and final race of the season on Sunday, four drivers were still in contention for the title; they were DS Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne, who held a strong lead despite finishing out of the points after pitting with a puncture in Saturday’s race, Audi’s Lucas di Grassi, Jaguar’s Mitch Evans, and Buemi. Félix da Costa, who had come into the race with an outside chance at the title, was mathematically eliminated despite his podium finish.
In race two Sims led from pole until Envision Virgin Racing’s Robin Frijns got by with a bold pass, with about twenty minutes remaining in the 45-minute-plus-one-lap race. Sims held off Buemi to finish second. Félix da Costa, who started fourteenth, ran eleventh late in the race until a two-car incident between di Grassi and Evans on the final lap promoted him to ninth. Vergne, who finished seventh, took his second consecutive Formula E drivers’ title and Techeetah won the team championship. Félix da Costa finished sixth in drivers’ points, while Sims was thirteenth. BMW i Andretti team finished fifth in team points.
Team principal Roger Griffiths said, “We started the season strongly—and we ended it strongly too. Pole position and finishing second for his first podium were a great result for Alexander. He has been working towards that all year. Starting from fourteenth place made it difficult for António but he drove a clever race and was able to benefit from incidents ahead of him at the end. In particular, the consistency of our performances this weekend gives us reasons to be optimistic. Season 6 starts for us on Monday.”
The series’ Season 6 begins with a double-header in Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia on November 22–23. Next year the series will run one race in Brooklyn on June 20; the season will end with a double-header in London on July 25–26.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy Brian Morgan.]