Alexander Sims will leave the BMW Andretti team to join Mahindra for Season 7, replacing Jerome d’Ambrosio who departs after two seasons.
Sims’ future with the team appeared unclear in Berlin, and after picking up just three points from the final six races, there was some speculation that he may not have been retained despite having led the championship earlier in the season following his win in Diriyah.
Inside Electric understand that Sims held talks with Mahindra earlier this summer after negotiations regarding an extension to his BMW contract stalled, and a deal to join Mahindra was agreed in principal prior to the Berlin season finale.
Sims said: “I’m delighted to be joining Mahindra Racing and continuing my Formula E campaign. It is an exciting opportunity to bring on the team’s package and challenge for strong results. Promoting sustainability and electric mobility is important to me personally and competing in Formula E provides a strong, innovative and forward-looking platform to raise awareness.
“I want to thank BMW i Andretti Motorsport for all its support during the past two seasons and wish the team well for the future. It’s been a huge learning curve coming into Formula E – it’s such a different discipline in motorsport and brings with it great new challenges. I’m excited to continue learning and to use my knowledge to support Mahindra Racing in the upcoming seasons.”
Sims’ signing with Mahindra marks the end of d’Ambrosio’s two-year stint with the team, during which he scored two podiums including a win at the 2019 Marrakesh E-Prix.
In a statement, the team said: “Mahindra Racing would also like to confirm that Jerome d’Ambrosio will not continue with the team into Season 7. In his two years with the team, the popular Belgian scored an unforgettable race victory in Marrakesh as well as a fantastic podium on his debut with Mahindra. The team would like to thank Jerome for his contribution and wish him well for the future.”
After six seasons and 68 starts, d’Ambrosio is one of the most experienced drivers in the series, but his form this season has been patchy and he was outscored in the second half of the season by substitute Alex Lynn.
Speaking to Inside Electric last month, Mahindra team boss Dilbagh Gill dropped a hint regarding d’Ambrosio’s future, saying: “We will sit down and have a chat about what we intend [to do] going forward, but Jerome definitely will be in consideration… if he’s still keen on Mahindra.”
In light of d’Ambrosio’s exit, Lynn now appears favourite to partner Sims at Mahindra next season after an impressive performance in Berlin that saw him score a total of 16 points (just three fewer than d’Ambrosio achieved all season) including two superpole appearances.
Sims’s association with BMW Motorsport looks set to continue in the short-term at-least as he’s scheduled to compete for the German marque at the Nürburgring 24hrs event in September.
It’s been confirmed that his [now former] team-mate, Max Günther, will remain with the BMW Andretti team in Formula E next season.