Jake Dennis in the #27 BMW i Andretti Motorsport iFE.21 went into the final race of the ABB Formula E Series’ Season 7 third in drivers points with a very real possibility of winning the title. The race marked the end of BMW’s involvement in the series.
An accident at the start of the final race took out two title contenders. Mitch Evans’ Jaguar stalled on the line, and was collected by Mercedes’ Edoardo Mortara, who was taken to the hospital with what turned out to be a broken vertebrae. A red flag was thrown. With Evans and Mortara out, Dennis was a strong contender for the title when the race was restarted. A rear lockup just after the restart sent his car into the wall, ending his title hopes. Mercedes’ Nyck De Vries won the drivers’ title, and the Mercedes team won the teams championship.
Venturi Racing’s Norman Nato won the race, while Dennis’ teammate Maximilian Günther finished fifteenth. On Saturday, Dennis finished fifth and Günther finished eighth in a race won by Audi’s Lucas di Grassi. Audi, like BMW, is exiting the series at the end of the season. The Andretti team will continue in Season 8 using BMW power.
Dennis finished the season a strong third in points despite his exit from the final race. Günther finished the season sixteenth in points, and Andretti was sixth in team points.
Over the course of three years as a works team, BMW i Andretti scored seven wins, five pole positions, and twelve podium finishes. BMW was the official vehicle partner of Formula E for seven seasons, providing pace cars and other course cars to the series.
BMW i Andretti team principal Roger Griffiths said, “We came into this final race with a really good chance of winning the World Championship with Jake. Practice sessions went not quite as smoothly as yesterday and in qualifying he again just missed Super Pole by a few hundredths of a second. Still, he was in a good position having most of his title contenders behind him. Then at the restart after the unfortunate collision between Mitch Evans and Edoardo Mortara we suspect a technical issue with Jake’s car that we yet have to analyze. The rear axle locked and Jake was just a passenger. At that point his championship hopes were over, but I told him: ‘You must have had a pretty good season if you are disappointed with third place in the championship’. If someone had offered that position to us after the first two rounds, we would have bitten his hand off. Jake did an amazing job in his rookie season with his two race wins. Maximilian went in the wrong direction with his setup and didn’t really have a competitive car in this race unfortunately. Today we are disappointed, but once all has settled in, I think we can be very proud of what we have achieved together as BMW and Andretti Formula E and of the hard work that everyone has put into it to get us to this point. Of course we would have loved to continue like this but it is not to be. We are excited for what Season 8 will bring for us. I say thank you to everybody, not only the team on the front line but also everybody in the background who helped to make this project a success. Thank you very much!”—Brian Morgan
[Photo courtesy BMW Motorsport.]