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BMW i Andretti Motorsport emerges pointless from disappointing second race in Diriyah.

The opening weekend of Season 7 in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship did not go as expected for the BMW i Andretti Motorsport team and drivers. Accidents during Saturday’s race in the Diriyah E-Prix (KSA) led to early retirements for Maximilian Günther (GER) and Jake Dennis (GBR).

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Diriyah. The opening weekend of Season 7 in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship did not go as expected for the BMW i Andretti Motorsport team and drivers. Accidents during Saturday’s race in the Diriyah E-Prix (KSA) led to early retirements for Maximilian Günther (GER) and Jake Dennis (GBR). Both drivers didn’t score points in the double-header in Diriyah. The next race is scheduled to take place in Rome (ITA) on 10th April.

Günther, who also saw his Friday race come to a premature end after an accident, collided with Tom Blomqvist (GBR, NIO) around ten minutes before the end battling for a top ten finish, bringing the BMW i8 Roadster Safety Car onto the track. The race was brought to an early conclusion shortly afterwards. A few minutes earlier, Dennis was not at fault as he was pushed into the wall and then forced to park his damaged BMW iFE.21. Victory went to Sam Bird (GBR, Jaguar). 

Reactions to race 2 in Diriyah:  

Roger Griffiths (Team Principal BMW i Andretti Motorsport, team standings: 12th place):

“Two days in a row we didn’t get the results we wanted. Yesterday was frustrating, Today, even more so, as both drivers had the chance to score points and ended up with DNFs. The day started with a challenge as we had to fit the battery back into Maximilian’s car after yesterday’s crash but all the mechanics did a great job. Despite a very late delivery of the battery, we only lost a few minutes of time in free practice. In qualifying we didn’t make the most of our opportunities. We felt the race would come to us in the final stages looking at energy management but in the end it wasn’t meant to be. We now try to put the Diriyah races behind us and move on to Europe.”

Jake Dennis (#27 BMW iFE.21, starting position: 17th place, race result: DNF, points: 0, driver standings: 18th place):

“A bad day in the office for all of us with two DNFs. My race was going pretty well before my crash. I was saving a lot of energy and it looked good for the final laps of the race. Then Alexander Sims hit me first, I touched the wall and had a bit of suspension damage but the car was still driveable. Then Pascal Wehrlein came and pushed me straight into the wall. There was nothing I could do. All in all we could have had a better weekend. I had problems in qualifying; the race pace was good. Now we have to move on to the next one.”

Maximilian Günther (#28 BMW iFE.21, starting position: 11th place, race result: DNF, points: 0, driver standings: 23rd place):

“I’m obviously very disappointed about the results of these two races in Diriyah. Right before the incident in today’s race I had to defend against Oliver Rowland behind me, who was in Attack Mode. I locked up braking into the corner on the inside and couldn’t stop the car. That’s how I unfortunately hit Tom Blomqvist. Before that I was unlucky using my own Attack Modes and couldn’t really make use of them. But still I could have scored some points. We will learn our lessons from this weekend and come back stronger for sure.” 

The FANBOOST vote.

FANBOOST gives Formula E fans the opportunity to vote for their favourite driver and award them an extra boost of power during the race. The five drivers with the most FANBOOST votes receive an extra 100 kJ of power, which they can make use of during a brief time frame in the second half of the race. Fans can vote for their favourite driver in the four days prior to, and leading up to 15 minutes into, each race. Each fan can vote once per day. There are two ways to vote: Online at https://fanboost.fiaformulae.com/ or via the official Formula E App 

The BMW i Safety Cars.
Spearheading the fleet are two safety cars: the BMW i8 Roadster safety car, which has been specially modified for use at the racetrack, and the BMW i8 Coupé safety car. The BMW i fleet also includes the BMW i3s (Power consumption in kWh/100: 14.6-14.0 (NEDC); 16.6-16.3 (WLTP), electric range in km: 278-283 (WLTP))* as ‘Race Director Car’ and the BMW iX3 (Power consumption in kWh/100: 17.8-17.5 (NEDC); 19.0-18.6 (WLTP), electric range in km: 450-458 (WLTP))* in its roles as ‘Medical Car’ and ‘Rescue Car’.

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