In the run up to the return of Formula E, Last-Lap is looking at every team and analysing their lineup, their livery and their chances in 2021.
Read the other teams previews here:
BMW were doing so well in Season 6. It was only in the final race that they dropped from third in the Teams Championship to fifth but the mark of what had been a successful season was already made.
The first two pole positions of the year went to Alex Sims, one of these earned the team a victory. The next race was soundly won by Max Günther too after he duelled with Mitch Evans and eventual champion Antonio Felix Da Costa in Santiago.
In the early season they were never out of the fight. The fight for the win in Marrakech again involved some excellent racing from Günther and both drivers were well in the championship fight as the residency at Berlin began in August.
Günther won again in Berlin beating Jean-Eric Vergne in a straight fight and dropping him at the finish to put him second in the championship at the time.
It all went a bit Pete Tong after that with compromised races yielding no points in the final three rounds and eventually dropping the team to fifth, which was not what was deserved after such strong pace all year.
Since then, Sims has jumped ship to Mahindra rather than waiting around for a potential contract like he had to do in 2019 and the team has renewed their faith in youth by taking on a rookie for Season 7.
The big news however was that BMW announced they are to leave Formula E at the end of Season 7, along with Audi.
They said in a statement at the time: “Our journey in Formula E is hitting the home stretch. After seven successful years, BMW Group will end its involvement in the series at the end of the coming season.
“As a partner from the word go, BMW has been instrumental in the success story of Formula E. However, when it comes to the development of e-drivetrains, BMW Group has essentially exhausted the opportunities for this form of technology transfer in the competitive environment of Formula E.”
BMW have been improving a lot over recent seasons in Formula E and will hope to leave the championship on a high.
Fingers crossed their hugely talented lineup can help provide a brilliant final year for the manufacturer.
Staying on is the hugely talented Max Günther. He has always been talented and intellectual as a driver and his start in Formula E with Dragon proves this. He kept his cool in a volatile environment where he was fighting for his seat because Felipe Nasr had a Sauber F1 career behind him.
Günther was head-hunted by BMW and came good quick, expertly winning in Santiago and Berlin. His only points finishes came from a second place and the two wins though. When he’s on form, he is exceptional, but other times he can get a bit mired in the midpack after a poor qualifying.
A first full season under his belt has given him a bedrock to becoming one of the favourites for 2021.
“After a whole year working together, you know what makes each other tick and can build on this common basis. Generally speaking, the team is almost identical and has become like family. I feel right at home in the team and am really looking forward to starting the new season with the experiences from last year.” said Günther in a team interview.
“Since the end of the season in Berlin, we have pursued our path and objectives in development and worked on every minor detail. I really enjoyed that as I am a real perfectionist. The off-season has been very productive to date and we are all looking forward to things getting started again.
“I believe that a particular challenge in Formula E is the qualifying format. Last season we were almost always in Group 1, which is a good sign in principle, because it means that you are consistently up there near the top in the championship, but it also brings plenty of challenges. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to make it out of Group 1 into Super Pole often enough, or into a good starting position. We have looked at this in great detail during the off-season, and I think we have drawn the right conclusions.”
Taking the spot left by Sims is British rookie Jake Dennis.
Dennis impressed BMW during a long evaluation in the summer after just one small connection to the team. He did the job well however and won the drive over some tough competition in the BMW ranks.
Dennis has good experience in the DTM, GT racing and as a Formula 1 test and simulator driver for Red Bull Racing. He is well respected as an intelligent and professional driver who will bring a lot of pace as well as teamwork to BMW for their final season.
Dennis said ahead of the season: “I like the team a lot. The combination of BMW and Andretti is very strong. The team is highly professional and it has a good mix of nationalities, which is a great benefit as you get different views and different opinions.
“I wanted to progress over the past couple of years into Formula E as the series has really taken off in the past years. Gaining the FIA World Championship status now is obviously massive. It’s nice to call myself a Formula E driver and to finally put some laps in the car with BMW is a real pleasure. Can’t wait for the first races in Saudi.”
Dennis will also be in Group 4 of qualifying as a rookie and taking into account BMW’s recent form at the track (three poles and two wins) then maybe there’s potential for a win early on.
BMW really engage the futuristic nature of Formula E with their livery. It hasn’t changed since Gen2 began really but it does provide a unique, brilliant take on the MSport colours.
When they were told beauty is in symmetry, they didn’t listen and that is the best thing they ever did.
How will Season 7 go?
Similar to the rivals Audi, this is the last time to shine for BMW.
They enter the season in similar form to previous years, with an excellent car and a similarly brilliant proven driver. With a clever and hungry rookie alongside, they have all the ingredients for this to be their best season yet.
Really the issue for BMW is not themselves, they are an excellent Formula E team. The issue is the equal excellence of their rivals. Teams like DS Techeetah and Nissan who are always competitive are going to need some bad luck and some slick teamwork to be able to compete. But on pace, they have no worries.
The fastest time in testing went to Günther. Teams usually say Valencia is not a representative track so the time means little but this year Formula E is to race there in May as a result of the Covid pandemic so this could prove to be very good sign for BMW.
All will be revealed in two weeks time when Formula E returns in Saudi Arabia for Rounds 1 and 2 of the season.