Alexander Sims looking to pick up where he left off as Briton leads Formula E standings heading into Santiago

Samuel Wakefield
Alexander Sims converted pole in Diriyah into race two victory and leads the championship heading to Chile: LAT Images

The ABB FIA Formula E Championship gets back underway this Saturday in Santiago and Britain’s championship leader Alexander Sims is determined to pick-up where he left off as the series enters 2020.

The 31-year-old was only confirmed as returning for a second season with BMW i Andretti Motorsport a month prior to season start after finishing 13th last year but has already broken records this time around and sits top of the driver’s standings.

The bespectacled racer made it three pole positions in a row in Diriyah counting the final race of last season in New York and converted his third pole into a maiden E-Prix victory – his first single-seater victory in six years.

A driver from Britain is yet to lift the Formula E title, but Sims’ impressive performances in Diriyah have given him a great platform to be among the contenders come a season finale double-header at home in London in July.

But as Formula E maintains its reputation as the most competitive, unpredictable series in motorsport and with a grid full of world-class drivers and manufacturers, Sims admits there is a long way yet to go.

“Obviously I am not heading to Santiago thinking that I will automatically get pole position and the win again, but I am ambitious enough to set my sights on getting another win,” said Londoner Sims, who will be competing in the race live on BBC Red Button and BBC iPlayer at 7pm. “The BMW i Andretti Motorsport Team was strong in both Diriyah and Santiago in Season 5. I hope we manage the same again this time.

“In Formula E, we have a vast amount of competition all over the world, whether it will be drivers or manufacturers or private teams and so beating all of them is incredibly difficult. Nevertheless, we are doing our best to have a strong weekend and score good points.

“From a performance point of view the team is perfectly capable of challenging through all the season. You obviously have some stronger and some weaker races but starting this year, I’ve felt a continuation of the progress from last year. We obviously have to continue to work really hard, but I have full faith in the team around me.”

The opening weekend of the season was a positive one for Britain as Sims and fellow countryman Sam Bird took a checkered flag each during the season-opening double-header in Diriyah.

Sims leads a championship that has three British drivers in the top four (LAT Images)

Chile has proven a happy hunting ground for Bird who won here last season in record-high temperatures – a season where he was one of nine different race winners – but the pair will face a tough 24-man grid, all desperate to make a statement of their title credentials.

Mercedes-Benz EQ and TAG Heuer Porsche have joined fellow German giants Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler and Sims’ BMW as well as DS, Jaguar, Nissan and Mahindra cementing Formula E’s manufacturer line-up as the most complete in motorsport.

And there will be little room for error with three former champions on the grid including reigning two-time champion Jean-Eric Vergne, Brazilian Lucas di Grassi and last year’s runner-up Sebastien Buemi, as well as former McLaren Formula One driver Stoffel Vandoorne, who sits second in the Championship, to contend with.

To watch the Santiago E-Prix, tune into BBC Red Button, iPlayer and the BBC Sport website or Eurosport from 6.30pm this Saturday January 18. Fans will be given a unique opportunity to watch from a drivers’ perspective with the new ‘Driver’s Eye’ camera.