BMW i Andretti Motorsport team principal Roger Griffiths said that a combination of Diriyah winner Alexander Sims’ own approach and a team pep talk contributed to the Brit scoring his first-ever Formula E victory on Saturday.
Sims converted his second pole position in as many days by winning the second race of the 2019-20 season’s opening weekend in Saudi Arabia.
But unlike Friday’s race which saw him slip from the lead to an eventual eighth-place finish, Saturday witnessed a controlled drive from Sims to lead the entire E-Prix.
Griffiths revealed that Sims quickly put Friday’s disappointment out of his mind and was determined to take BMW’s second Formula E victory.
“He went to bed last night and had a good think about how yesterday went, woke up this morning and completely put yesterday behind him, and was even better today,” Griffiths told e-racing365.
“I think he was just in a better frame of mind and he really re-focused.
“We talked to him, you can make your car feel a bit wider, you can make life a bit more difficult for people trying to get past.”
Griffiths said he was particularly impressed with Sims’ ability to pull out an instant gap on the field and also to manage the two restarts from Safety Car periods.
“He pulled a 1.5 seconds gap or so at the start from Buemi, and was very strong at that point,” commented Griffiths.
“The two Safety Car restarts were really smart in very different circumstances, taking Attack Mode and using that really well, and then getting out, pulling away from di Grassi on the second one.”
The BMW iFE.20 car set the pace in qualifying and did the same for large portions of the race, allowing Sims to dictate the pace and run clear of any significant challenge at the head of the field.
“The pace was 3.5 seconds faster today [than Friday]; that seemed to suit the car better. It was more composed with the high grip environment,” exclaimed Griffiths.
“I think we also got a better handle on what we wanted to do with the energy management during the course of the race.”