Antonio Felix da Costa and Alexander Sims have been confirmed as BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s drivers for Season Five of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, as first revealed by e-racing365.
The factory pair were announced at the launch of the manufacturer’s Gen 2 challenger, named the BMW iFE.18, in Munich on Friday.
Felix da Costa will return for his fifth season in Formula E and his third with the Andretti squad, having signed from Team Aguri in 2016.
The Portuguese driver, whose only podium to date came when he won the 2014-15 Buenos Aires E-Prix, finished 15th in the points last season.
Sims, meanwhile, will make his championship debut off the back of two years testing Formula E machinery.
The Brit is currently at the tail end of a full-season sports car program with BMW Team RLL in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, although it is not yet known if he will remain in GT racing in light of his signing with Andretti.
Sims was in contention for the Season Five seat along with fellow factory drivers Bruno Spengler and Tom Blomqvist, who also tested the iFE.18 package.
“Formula E has quickly become the place for top manufacturers and top drivers to meet,” said Sims.
“I am honored to be entrusted with taking on this adventure in collaboration with BMW i Motorsport.”
In addition to conducting extensive testing of BMW’s first electric racing car, Sims and Felix da Costa teamed up at the 24 Hours of Le Mans earlier this year, sharing a BMW M8 GTE with Augusto Farfus.
Felix da Costa has a full-time program with the marque’s MTEK-run FIA World Endurance Championship squad, although BMW has yet to confirm its drivers for the 2019 races at Sebring, Spa and Le Mans.
There are no date clashes between those events, which round out the 2018-19 WEC ‘Super Season’, and the 2018-19 Formula E schedule.
Griffiths to Continue as Team Principal
Andretti Autosport team principal Roger Griffiths will continue to lead the race operations of the BMW i Andretti Formula E team.
Griffiths, who chaired the Formula E Teams’ Association in Seasons Three and Four, signed on for the outfit’s 2014 debut before BMW joined as a technical partner.
The Michael Andretti-led squad, which finished bottom of the teams’ standings last season with the ATEC-03, will run the BMW operation despite its manufacturer status.
“I can’t wait to see BMW i Andretti Motorsport hit the race track in Season Five,” said Andretti.
“I believe we have the right partners, drivers and personnel in place to compete at the very top level of Formula E.
“Everyone on both sides has been dedicated to the development of the new BMW iFE.18 and I look forward to seeing it in action.
“We are entering not only a new era of Formula E, but of motorsport as a whole.”