BMW Andretti driver Alexander Sims thought competing in Formula E with wasn’t a “feasible solution” and that he’d dropped off the team’s radar for a seat.
Sims has been brought in to make his series debut alongside seasoned team-mate Antonio Felix da Costa, having replaced Stephane Sarrazin who in turn took over from Tom Blomqvist mid-way through last season.
Despite carrying out some test days he was surprised to hear shortly after the Le Mans 24 Hours that he had a race seat, with a lot of BMW’s private testing being carried out by Bruno Spengler and Blomqvist.
“I had no idea. I thought I’d dropped off the radar entirely to be honest,” Sims said.
“I was reserve driver last year but this test last year was the last real involvement I had with the programme. I was racing in IMSA and Blancpain in GTs and it seemed like that was my focus for the year.
“I asked the guys why they didn’t choose Tom to be honest. I mean Tom’s fast and he’s got experience but for whatever reason they chose me.
“But to be perfectly honest it wasn’t something that I was thinking was a feasible solution to come and race in Formula E. But I’m very pleased that it is.”
Sims believes season five is a good time to be entering the championship as a rookie with the introduction of the Gen2 car shaking up the order of the grid.
“I feel like it’s probably the best time to come in as a rookie in the last few years. Certainly last year and the year before you had a few guys who’d been in it since season one and knew those cars very well.
“They were inherently very difficult cars to get right and so that experience I think continued to help them to be able to nail the qualifying lap and not make mistakes, which seems to be so easy to do in the Gen1 car. So I think now’s a good time.
“Obviously the guys that have done it do have a head start but hopefully we can shorten that gap as much as possible.”