Painful rookie Formula E season boosted by positive Berlin E-Prix - Alexander Sims

Alexander Sims has said that what has been a painful debut season in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship has been boosted by a positive and encouraging performance at last weekend's Berlin E-Prix.

Sims joined the Formula E grid for the 2018/19 campaign as one of Season 5's rookies, joining Antonio Felix da Costa at BMW i Andretti Motorsport and experienced a positive pre-season test programme at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Spain.

Impacted negatively by a power overshoot in Ad Diriyah, Sims' season has been plagued by poor luck since, with a blend of technical issues, reliability problems and incidents in which the driver was an innocent bystander removing the Briton from contention for multiple points finishes.

Securing a spot inside Super Pole, Sims' Berlin E-Prix had a negative start, with a five-place grid penalty relegating him to 11th on the grid. Fighting forward, however, the 31-year-old recovered to the points, taking seventh in Berlin - a result that marked the driver's first points since January's Santiago E-Prix. 

Reflecting on his performance, Sims described the Berlin E-Prix as "well executed," buoyed by his drive at the penultimate European round of the 2018/19 season:

"It has been a painful few rounds but very positive [in Berlin]," Sims told Motorsport Week. "I thought we executed the race well.

"We built up a nice bit of energy halfway through, made some progress forward as well and it was a well-executed race. It was a bit of a lonely second half after the Full Course Yellow but nevertheless, all good.

"The only thing that was a shame was having to start with the five-place penalty but it was cool to be in Super Pole.

"I can learn a few things to do Super Pole a bit better I think but it’s nice when you’re learning small things and not from massive mistakes.”

With BMW's iFE.18 car arguably being one of the most energy-efficient vehicles on the grid, a late Full Course Yellow in Berlin meant that the 45-minute + 1 lap race was neutralised in the eyes of Sims, removing any additional element of strategy, particularly in the form of battery management:

"[The FCY] neutralised the race then everyone was pretty much flat-out until the end so in that situation, the efficiency aspect doesn’t play so much into a part," added Sims. 

"You never know if that’s going to happen or not so you can never really plan for it at the start of the race. We controlled what we could control very well and that’s all we can really do.”

With da Costa also finishing inside the top 10 in Berlin, the race marked BMW's first double points finish of the season while the German marque sits in sixth in the Teams' Championship with 106 points with three races remaining, 82 points behind leaders DS Techeetah.

Formula E's fifth season of competition will continue on June 22 for the inaugural Bern E-Prix in Switzerland.