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Sims: Valencia Pilot Race ‘Not Representative’

Sims says the pilot race at Valencia wasn’t too useful for learning new race format…

Photo: Formula E

Alexander Sims says that the simulation race which took place at the pre-season test at Valencia had a “weird” ending and has no relevance ahead of the upcoming ABB FIA Formula E Championship season.

The BMW i Andretti Autosport driver set the second quickest time over the 18 hours of running last week and completed the test race in second position after losing the lead in the closing stages.

“I don’t think it was an exactly representative race because it sounds as if different scenarios happened for different cars,” Sims told e-racing365.

E-racing365 understands that several cars had their energy reset after Daniel Abt’s crashed Audi e-tron FE05 brought out the red flags.

The state of charge on the new batteries is therefore believed to have not been available for the full duration of the race, explaining while several cars fell away at the end of the test run.

“Then the fact that we had the two or three laps and then sat there for half an hour or 45 minutes meant that the battery temperatures were a lot higher starting the second race run than they would have been normally,” said Sims.

“So for example on the last lap I had battery temperature limitations so I was losing power hence why Lucas [di Grassi] overtook me on the line and I am sure others had similar experiences.

“I had plenty of energy available but the battery was heating up.

“I don’t think those are realistic situations that we are going to find in the race. The first three quarters of the race was good, but after that it was a bit weird.”

Attack Mode Protocol Still Needs Work

Sims utilized his attack mode in the pilot race on Wednesday afternoon but believes that the minutiae of the plans need further work ahead of the season-opening Ad Diriyah E-Prix.

“I think we still have investigations to do into the attack loop situation as to the different ramifications of if you use them early in the race, late in the race and how does it penalise you,” said Sims.

“If you have to do it under safety car and the race finishes under safety car are you going to do it, lose position and not be able to gain, use that extra power and so on.

“If you do it under safety car or under full course yellow and then they pack up is that probably a benefit because you’ve got a lot more energy to then use in the pack right behind people. I don’t really know.

“It seems like the championship [organisers] are also trying to work out how it works best, so we are finding out as we go at the moment.”

The Munich-based manufacturer began its initial private testing phase with several issues and even missed the first test at Monteblanco in March.

Bruno Spengler, Antonio Felix da Costa, Tom Blomqvist and Sims have worked on developing the car under a joint collaboration between BMW Motorsport and Andretti engineers.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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