Alexander Sims will step up from his role as development driver to partner Antonio Felix da Costa at Andretti for BMW’s maiden Formula E season.
The 30 year old British BMW factory driver, who has recently represented BMW in the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours, will make his debut in the series after numerous testing outings for Andretti.
He replaces Stephane Sarrazin at Andretti, who took over from Tom Blomqvist after a difficult start to the Briton’s Formula E campaign with one points finish on his debut in Marrakesh.
Speaking at BMW’s launch event at BMW-Welt in Munich, Sims said: “I am honoured to be entrusted with taking on this adventure in collaboration with BMW i Motorsport.”
“I have been part of the BMW family for five years now and every single season has seen progression in the level of competition. I’m really thankful to BMW for giving me this opportunity and a new challenge in Formula E.
“Formula E is a forward-looking championship that’s breaking new ground in terms of electric mobility and showing a different way to run a race weekend. There’s a lot about the championship that excites me: the level of competition is incredible, both in terms of manufacturers and top drivers. It’s a series that’s strongly appealed to me from the beginning. I have a keen interest in electric vehicles due to the efficiency, performance and sustainability benefits that they offer to society. To be able to mix my passion for racing with electric vehicles is very special. It’s fantastic that we’re living in an age where that’s possible.”
Sims, alongside Blomqvist, drove the Andretti during Valencia pre-season testing a year ago, and is understood to have had several outings in the 2018/19 BMW iFE.18.
Da Costa has been retained by the team for his fifth season in Formula E and his third with Andretti. The one-time race winner finished 15th in the driver’s championship last season in what was the team’s worst year finishing last in the team’s standings.
Speaking at the launch event in Munich, da Costa said: “I know Formula E really well and was always convinced that BMW would enter as a manufacturer one day. Now, to be part of this team is an incredible motivator.”
The 2018/19 season marks BMW’s first year in the championship along with Nissan. The German marque is in a technical partnership with Andretti, creating its powertrain and running the technical team.