Not many weeks left until the start of the seventh season of the 2020-2021 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, which kicks off on 16th January in Santiago, Chile. The calendar indeed seems to be an exciting one that includes a doubleheader at Diriyah, a night race for the first time in Formula E.
With 12 teams and 24 drivers, we will see a mixed grid with some new and experienced drivers competing from across the world. All the teams finished the pre-season testing in Valencia over the course of three days and home-team Mahindra Racing topped the timing on Day 2 with Alex Lynn recording a time of 1:11.941 on his new electric car.
Recently, we caught up with Formula E driver Alexander Sims of Mahindra Racing, and here is what he had to say about the new M7 Electro, drivers and the racing season ahead:
EVW: What do you think about the M7Electro?
Alexander Sims: Very positive initial thoughts. The drivetrain itself feels good – all smooth, no glitches, all working well. Software-wise we improved things with every run in Valencia. We will continue to fine-tune things ahead of Santiago and make improvements throughout the season.
EVW: What challenges do you see for the next season?
Alexander Sims: There are so many challenges inherent within Formula E and its format. The tight, bumpy tracks, treaded tyres, qualifying format, regen considerations, strategy, the highly-competitive field of drivers – there’s so much to consider and so many things to get right during a race weekend, and that makes the series challenging in itself. Ultimately, the biggest challenge is maximising your own performance in every area over a weekend. First, you need to get a good clean qualifying lap, which is probably the first fundamental thing to achieve. Then you need to have sensible, well-executed races, making the right decisions at the right time to get maximum performance at every step.
EVW: Have you fully adjusted in the team and at the factory?
Alexander Sims: Thankfully I’ve had so much time with my bubble part of the team over the last few months that it all feels very familiar now. There are quite a few people whom I met for the first time in Valencia – so there is some further familiarity that needs to happen with them. But with the ones whom I work closely with, it’s all fully in tune now.
EVW: How different has this year been professionally due to COVID-19?
Alexander Sims: It’s been very different for a couple of reasons. One was having a few months at home doing very little in the Spring – it was the first time I’ve had that for as long as I can remember. Secondly, the added restrictions and things that we need to do when we travel and are at races and tests etc. It’s all doable, but it’s just another set of things we need to adhere to and approach in the correct way. Formula E and the teams have adjusted well and have put good processes in place to ensure we keep everyone safe whilst enabling the championship to continue.
EVW: Which is your favourite race track?
Alexander Sims: My favourite of all is probably Macau, closely followed by the Nordschleife – but within Formula E I would probably say NYC or Rome.
EVW: Which is your favourite Electric Car?
Alexander Sims: The Tesla Roadster – I own one, one of the originals that I bought back in 2012 and I’ve done a lot of miles in it and really enjoy it. I think the one thing that really makes it special to me is that it was the first 200-mile electric car and was very much ahead of its time.
EVW: What kind of training do you do to keep fit?
Alexander Sims: I do lots of training in the gym and some running out and about sometimes. We try and make it as relevant to driving a race car as possible – having a strong back, legs and arms. The back for me is the biggest thing because that’s what takes the strain in the car – your posture is poor because you are inevitably hunched forward and over the whole season. I find it easy to get back pain and pulled muscles, so I try to focus on that as the priority.
EVW: What message would you like to give your fans?
Alexander Sims: Thank you so much for all your support – to those that have started supporting me in Formula E, and to all those that have been around throughout my racing career to date! I really enjoy my job, and hopefully, I help to provide some fun and entertaining racing to watch. As well as this, thank you to everyone who has made positive environmental changes in their lives from seeing me talk or post on social media about my sustainability interests. I hope that it helps broaden people’s awareness of such topics so that we can make choices that have a positive impact.