BMW clinches perfect start in debut Formula E race

António Félix da Costa wins first Formula E race for BMW

BMW made its debut as one of many manufacturers in the 2018/2019 FIA Formula E championship on Saturday, and it went very well.

The German marque took the pole position and first place in its first race in the motorsport at the Ad Diriyah Championship in Saudi Arabia. Driver António Félix da Costa was behind the wheel of the winning car as a BMW driver. Da Costa can thank dedicated Formula E fans for help in his win; they voted for him as one of the few to activate “fan boost.” The mode allows drivers to unlock a short burst of extra power, but it also consumes more energy. Drivers must strategically deploy the extra shot of power.

António Félix da Costa wins first Formula E race for BMW

“Many thanks to everyone who played their part in this win. But we still have a lot of work to do,” da Costa said of his second victory in Formula E.

Although BMW walked away triumphant, fellow driver Alexander Sims didn’t have a very good day. He placed 18th out of 22 cars after officials levied two penalties for breaching technical regulations.

BMW i.FE18 Formula E racer, Ad Diriyah 2018

“My first Formula E weekend was a big challenge and I learned a great deal. António did a fantastic job with pole position and the win, and showed how fast our car is,” Sims said. He added he’s “optimistic” for upcoming races after his first go as a Formula E driver.

BMW’s Formula E racer, called the iFE.18, features the common chassis that underpins all second-generation racers for the 2018/2019 season. The battery is also identical across all racers. However, teams and marques differentiate their cars with unique powertrains, transmissions, suspensions, and software management. BMW worked closely with its i sub-division to develop the electric powertrain for the race car.

BMW i.FE18 Formula E racer, Ad Diriyah 2018

The series moves on to Marrakech, Morocco, for the second race in the season. We’ll see if BMW can provide a proper challenge to last year’s team title winner, Audi, on Jan. 12.

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