Alexander Sims in the #27 BMW iFE.20 recovered from starting eighteenth on the grid to finish fifth at the end of the fourth race of the ABB Formula E series in Mexico City on February 15. His finish kept him second in drivers’ standings and extended BMW’s lead in team points. Sims’ BMW i Andretti teammate Maximilian Günther, coming off a win in Santiago in January, started sixteenth and finished eleventh.
Both BMW racers struggled in qualifying. Over the course of the race Sims was able to move up while Günther found himself mired in mid-pack skirmishes. Sims, managing energy carefully and staying out of trouble, moved into the points and engaged in a late-race battle with Mercedes’ Stoffel Vandoorne, who had led drivers’ points going into the race. Vandoorne hit the wall during the battle and crashed out, enabling Sims to move up to fifth, where he finished. Günther finished thirteenth on the track, but was later promoted to eleventh as the two racers ahead of him were disqualified.
BMW motorsport director Jens Marquardt said, “Congratulations to Alexander Sims and the entire BMW i Andretti Motorsport Team on this fantastic recovery performance to finish fifth after starting 18th on the grid! After the disappointment of qualifying, we made the right decisions for the race. We opted for a cautious approach with the energy in the BMW i drivetrain and, unlike our rivals, we did not make any mistakes. Unfortunately, things did not go according to plan for Maximilian Günther this time and he got caught up in some midfield battles. The fact that Alexander drove the fastest lap of the race shows just how fast the BMW iFE.20 can go. We have held on to first place in the team standings and Alexander is second in the drivers’ championship. That all means that we are feeling good as we leave Mexico City. Many thanks to the Mexican fans and the organizers for this unbelievable atmosphere in the stadium. Just seeing it is enough to give you goose bumps.”
Sims’ finish left him just a point behind Jaguar’s Mitch Evans, who led the Mexico City race from lights to flag. BMW goes into the February 29 race in Marrakesh with 71 points, ahead of Jaguar with 57 and Mercedes with 56.
After Marrakesh, the series will take a break because of the cancellation of the March Sanya, China race due to the Coronavirus epidemic, which is responsible for the temporary closure of the BMW Brilliance production facility in China, with competition resuming in Rome on April 4.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy BMW Motorsport.]