Race two of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship season, the Marrakesh e-Prix in Morocco, proved to be a bittersweet experience for the NIO team on Saturday, 12th January, with the promise of a potential points-paying finish unfortunately not materialising.
Oliver Turvey made a fantastic start to the 45-minute plus one lap encounter at the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan to rocket from 14th on the grid into seventh place, slicing through the order smartly after the front-row starters collided at the first corner.
Holding position for several laps, things then started to unravel for the British driver and the No.16 eventually took the chequered flag in 16th place.
From 18th on the grid Tom Dillmann in the sister NIO car also made progress at the beginning, gaining two positions, and although edged back to 19th place a few laps later the French racer did manage to recover into 17th position at the flag.
Importantly, with both cars finishing the race there is plentiful data for the team to analyse ahead of Sunday’s ‘rookie’ test in Marrakesh which will again feature highly rated female driver Jamie Chadwick as well as Formula 3 & GP3 racer Jake Hughes, Vice-Champion of the 2018 F3 Asian Championship.
Oliver Turvey, Race Driver, NIO Formula E Team:
“We had very good pace in free practice this morning, so the qualifying session was a bit frustrating. We had a good start to the race and with the incident into the first corner I was able to pick up some positions to run in seventh place, so the first part of the race was really positive. After that I tried to manage the energy but it became harder and harder to do so pace wise, which ultimately meant we couldn’t remain in a points scoring position, which was obviously a shame. We gave it everything today but we will learn from it and come back stronger for the next race.”
Tom Dillmann, Race Driver, NIO Formula E Team:
“I struggled a bit in free practice with confidence on braking, and I unfortunately paid the price for that in qualifying. In the race it was extremely difficult to manage the energy, which was strange because we were strong in that area in Saudi Arabia – it was a surprise. For sure, we learnt a lot in this race but we now need to understand what we need to do better for Santiago in two weeks time.”.
Gérry Hughes, Team Principal, NIO Formula E Team:
“In qualifying Tom was, in effect, stepping into the unknown doing his 250kW lap given the braking inconsistencies he had dealt with in the practice sessions and with Oliver we had a problem with the BBW system going in to qualifying, which put us on the backfoot. So, to come out of the qualifying session in P14 and P18 was disappointing certainly given the pace demonstrated by Oliver in the morning sessions.
Starting from those grid positions was always going to be difficult but, having said that, Oliver a had fantastic opening lap, which meant he was able to run in P7 before it became evident that we were going to struggle pace wise this afternoon. Unfortunately, we leave here without fulfilling our potential but with our focus firmly set on Santiago”.