Three lessons learned – the Mexico City E-Prix

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The BMW i Andretti Motorsport team is contesting its first season in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. The engineers gain more experience with every race weekend and incorporate their new findings in the development of the BMW iFE.18 and the preparation for the next races. In our new series “Three lessons learned”, we present three findings made by BMW i Andretti Motorsport after each race – this week, the Mexico City E-Prix (MEX). 

1. Tyre temperature in focus.

For the first time this season, tyre temperatures on the BMW iFE.18 were an issue that the BMW i Andretti Motorsport engineers and the drivers really had to deal with. Due to the special track layout – the track in Mexico City is a permanent racetrack – and the high asphalt temperatures, the left rear tyre in particular really heated up. 

2. The qualifying groups and their outcomes.

Due to their positions in the driver standings, António Félix da Costa (POR) and Alexander Sims (GBR) had to take to the track in qualifying groups one and two. Despite fast times and positions one (Félix da Costa) and two (Sims) in their respective groups, it wasn’t enough for both of them to make it to the Super Pole. Ultimately, Sims in seventh place missed out on making it through by 0.004 seconds. Félix da Costa in sixth only just made it. In Mexico City, Sims experienced the difference it can make having to start from the middle of the field, when through no fault of his own he got caught up in Nelson Piquet Jr.’s (BRA) accident and was pushed to the back of the field. The danger of this kind of accident is much lower in the leading group of the starting field.

3. To finish first, you first have to finish.

This old motorsport adage struck once again at the Mexico City E-Prix. The fact that numerous cars lost their energy on the final lap was an impressive demonstration of just how crucial precision, combined with the engineers and drivers having an overview, are to energy management. Accordingly, BMW i Andretti Motorsport attaches great importance to this aspect. In a field that is as close together as in Formula E, it ultimately comes down to every single percent of energy. Perfect energy management and the efficiency of the BMW i powertrain are what secured Félix da Costa the podium in Mexico.

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