After victory in the season-opener, BMW i Andretti Motorsport continued to put on a strong performance in the second race of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship – but without the reward of a similar result this time. At the Marrakesh E-Prix, Alexander Sims (GBR) finished fourth to score the first points of his Formula E career, just missing out on the podium in a thrilling finale. António Félix da Costa (POR) retired after sliding into the tyre wall after contact with Sims. Sims lost two places but was able to continue racing.
The two BMW i Andretti Motorsport drivers began the race from fourth and sixth places and both enjoyed superb starts, quickly moving up to second and third positions. As the race continued, Félix da Costa took the lead, followed by Sims in second. The outstanding pace of the two BMW iFE.18s allowed the duo to pull away from the rest of the field as they headed for the podium. However, both drivers missed their braking points as Sims attempted to overtake just a few laps before the end. Félix da Costa slid from the inside line into the tyre wall and had to retire, while Sims was able to take evasive action before rejoining the race in fourth place. The BMW i8 Coupé Safety Car then brought the field back together. Sims continued to battle for a podium position when the race got underway again, with one lap remaining, but was unable to find his way past the competition. Victory went to Jérôme D’Ambrosio (BEL, Mahindra Racing).
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“During the closing phase of the race, both BMW iFE.18s were in a promising position. Regrettably, we didn’t manage to capitalise on our good performance. There was contact between our drivers just before the finish and António Félix da Costa then had to retire. Alexander Sims was able to finish the race in fourth place. We have analysed the incident with both drivers and we will learn from this as the season continues. We are all in agreement that an incident like this will not occur again.”
Roger Griffiths (Team Principal BMW i Andretti Motorsport):
“Unfortunately, that was a disappointing end to a very promising day. Our cars put on a strong performance at the head of the field and were very competitive. Our racing pace was extremely good and a one-two result would have been possible. Regrettably, things didn’t turn out that way. Of course, we are disappointed. We have discussed it as a team and we are now looking ahead. We won together in Ad Diriyah. We didn’t manage to repeat that here in Marrakesh and we lost together as a team. We will learn from that.”
Alexander Sims (#27 BMW iFE.18, qualifying result: 5th place, race result: 4thplace, FANBOOST voting: 17th place, points: 12):
“Of course, it is a great shame for the whole team. The race should not have finished like that. All of us – me, António and the team – will learn our lessons from what happened. We are all well aware that such incidents are unacceptable. It cost us a one-two result today.”
António Félix da Costa (#28 BMW iFE.18, qualifying result: 3rd place, race result: DNF, FANBOOST voting: 2nd place, points: 28):
“I would like to apologise to the whole team. Alex did a great job today. I held my ground when he drew level with me and my front wheels locked up. That was my mistake and it had negative consequences for me and for Alex. I should have let him go past and been content with second place.”