Rain, hail and countless incidents led to an incredibly dramatic eighth round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Paris on Saturday, 27th April, where NIO missed out on, what looked certain to be, the team’s first double points haul of Season 5.
After a competitive run in qualifying, where Frenchman Tom Dillmann secured a season-best ninth on the grid, two places ahead of team-mate Oliver Turvey, the race itself around the streets of Les Invalides became a bittersweet experience for NIO’s drivers.
Home racer Dillmann ran as high as eighth early on, and notably set the fastest lap which stood to the conclusion, but his involvement came to an end on lap 18 when, after the onset of heavy rain and then hail, contact with the wall led to retirement.
Turvey, who had managed to squeeze ahead of his team-mate on lap 11, held seventh place with half an hour to go before the weather took a turn for the worse and the track conditions became very treacherous.
Although slipping to ninth, Turvey did climb back into eighth position with around 15 minutes to go but unfortunate contact with the rear of Felipe Massa’s car precipitated a spin, and then resulted in a drive-through penalty for the Briton. He eventually ended the Paris E-Prix an unrepresentative 14th.
Oliver Turvey, Race Driver, NIO Formula E Team:
“We had one of our better qualifying sessions of the year, starting in P11 we had a chance to challenge for points. The start of the race went well in the dry conditions and I felt quite comfortable and was able to race the cars around me. I made up two places and I felt some points were possible. Then, the rain came, and it was chaos with the conditions on track becoming quite tricky.
I ended up behind Felipe [Massa] and he was struggling a bit, but I got a good run on him in Attack Mode. I tried to overtake but locked the rear and could not make any further progress. It was unfortunate to have that incident but it was not intentional. All in all it was a frustrating race, I was trying to get the best result possible for the team, but it was not to be today.”
Tom Dillmann, Race Driver, NIO Formula E Team:
“It was a frustrating day in Paris, but the positive side is that we had really good pace, possibly the best pace we have had all year – for sure it is a step in the right direction. It was our best qualifying of the year for the team and I felt strong at the beginning of the race, I was able to fight with cars I have not be able to fight with before. The other side is frustrating in that I was not able to capitalise on the performance and collect points today, after getting caught up in incidents on track.”
Gérry Hughes, Team Principal, NIO Formula E Team:
“After a season best qualifying session for the NIO Formula E Team today, both the team and drivers’ sole focus this afternoon was for a double-points finish in the race, and we certainly had the pace and performance to achieve that. Tom and Oliver both did a very good job during the first part of the race, but then ‘Lady Luck’ had other ideas unfortunately with the impact of the rain and some incidents.
It’s frustrating not to have been able to capitalise with some championship points, especially as we were well on course to do that with both cars, but we have a great deal to build on from this weekend in Paris and the intention is to come back fighting, with another competitive showing, in Monaco two weeks from now.”
Round nine of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship will take place a fortnight from now, on Saturday 11th May, around the famous streets of Monte-Carlo in Monaco.
Connect with the NIO Formula E Team: @NIOFormulaE - Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: #BlueSkyComing #Acronis #ATPI