It was a disappointing race day in Mexico for MS Amlin Andretti. Neither BMW works driver António Félix da Costa (PRT), nor Robin Frijns (NED), made the points in the Mexico City ePrix. Frijns placed 11th, while Félix da Costa was unable to make the finish after a technical issue.
Qualifying for the MS Amlin Andretti Team was, like much of the day’s on-track activity, unpredictable. Félix da Costa earned eighth place, 1:03.363 his best time on a dusty, variable track. A penalty for another competitor meant that the Portuguese driver would start in seventh. Frijns found himself 17th, with a best of 1:03.688.
Félix da Costa picked up some extra momentum by winning the afternoon’s eRace in front of a large and passionate crowd in eVillage. The team was then paid an unexpected visit by celebrity Paris Hilton, who took time to take photos with the crew and learn how sustainability and electric technology is helping to shape the future of racing.
Once the race started, Félix da Costa got caught in traffic on Lap 1 and had to escape to a runoff, losing seven spots. He fought hard and was able to work his way back to P6 before a mechanical issue forced him to retire early. Frijns had a fast car and made his way all the way to P5 before having to serve a drive-through penalty for not meeting the minimum required pit stop time. He was able to gain spots after the penalty but finished just outside the points in P11. The race was won by Lucas Di Grassi (BRA). In total, the Qualcomm Safety Car BMW i8 made three appearances over the course of the race.
António Félix da Costa, MS Amlin Andretti: “We had a much better weekend, in terms of pace, than Buenos Aires. The homework we did helped a lot and we came here better prepared which means we are learning from our mistakes and doing what we have to do to compete. We were much more competitive in qualifying and started seventh which was a good step forward. The car was good, even though I made a mistake early on and we lost a few positions. I was able to come back and had good pace, so I passed a lot of guys on track. After the pit stop, we were looking good for a top-five finish but we had a mechanical failure and I was forced to come in. We seem to be going through a tough time right now but as a team we will come back much stronger in Monaco.”
Robin Frijns, MS Amlin Andretti: “The race went pretty well. We started P17, and I felt quite comfortable. I was behind Antonio after a few laps, because he made a mistake. I felt like I was quicker than the cars in front of me, but it is hard to overtake on the front stretch. It’s unfortunate the team made a mistake in the pit stop; we went three seconds quicker than was allowed so we got a drive-through penalty. Without the penalty we could have finished in the top five, so it was definitely a disappointment.”
The BMW i Vehicle Fleet
For Season 3, BMW i remains the “Official Vehicle Partner” for the FIA Formula E Championship. The BMW i8 (fuel consumption combined: 2.1 l/100 km / 134.5 mpg imp; CO2 emissions combined: 49 g/km) will continue as the high-performance, efficient Safety Car in Formula E. The same goes for the BMW i3 (energy consumption combined: 12.9 kWh; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km), which is the “Medical Car” and “Race Director Car” and for the BMW X5 xDrive40e (fuel consumption combined: 3.4–3.3 l/100 km / 83.1–85.6 mpg imp; CO2 emissions combined: 78–77 g/km; figures based on the EU test cycle, may vary depending on the tyre format specified), which functions as the “Rescue Car” or “Extrication Car”.
FIA Formula E heads into Europe for round five, with the Monaco ePrix on the 13th of May. The glamorous seaside resort, home of the world’s most famous motor race, hosts its second Formula E race on a short, action packed loop around the harbour.