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Rain Makes for Tumultuous First Outing in Spain for Formula E

Circuit: Ricardo Tormo Track Temp: 15.5° C average
Track Length: 3.376 kms Air Temp: 14.6° C average
Turns: 15 Track Condition: Wet

The new E-Prix track layout at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, and inclement weather conditions that rolled in just before the cars lined up on the starting grid, produced a battle of energy management for all of the Formula E teams during Round 5 of the ABB Formula E World Championship in Valencia today.

Following a safety car rolling start due to rain fall both NIO 333 Formula E Team drivers avoided an incident at the chicane which brought out a Full Course Yellow and a further four safety car deployments that would punctuate the race. Only 12 out of the 24-car field classified at the end of the race of attrition mixing up the positions on both the Drivers’ and Team’s Championship tables.

Tom Blomqvist, NIO 333 FE 001 #88

Qualifying Group 3 - Race Grid Position: 23 Round 5 Race Result: DNF

“We had a difficult qualifying session with a software issue at the end of the lap. Starting [the race] at the back, the rain presented a good opportunity for us to move forwards and I felt that we had a pretty good race in those conditions. I was able to save some energy at the start and was pretty competitive in the wet conditions. I kept moving forwards through the whole race and managed to get up to P11 at the last safety car and managed to get in to the points when we restarted in P10 and felt that there a good chance of scoring some more points for the team, but on the last lap we had a big change in the energy levels and ran out on the final lap. We just need to understand why this happened and focus on tomorrow."

Oliver Turvey, NIO 333 FE 001 #8

Qualifying Group 4 - Race Grid Position: P19 Round 5 Race Result: DNF

“Ultimately the weather can throw things up in the air and make things exciting, but it was actually a really tough race to manage. We didn’t have great pace and banked a little bit more on the track drying up than it actually being wet, so the all-weather tyres we had were a big influence. But none the less, we just got a bit lost with our energy management and that cost us the result today. If we had been a bit more on top of that we could maybe have got something out of today, which, looking back is quite frustrating. However, it is another day tomorrow, so we’ll take the learnings from today and work hard over night to try to improve for tomorrow.”

Christian Silk, NIO 333 FE Team Principal

“I realise it’s a cliché, but today’s race was a tough one. This morning during practice we showed good pace and we went into qualifying fairly confident of a good showing. However, things did not pan out as we hoped due to a combination of issues and we did not realise our potential in qualifying. However, one thing I have learned about Formula E is, unlike some other race series, it’s not over till it’s over, so we knew we had all to play for come the race. The rain started to fall before we went out to line up on the grid, so we knew it was all to play for in the changeable conditions. With Tom we banked on the track drying out so aimed the car setup at dry conditions. Unfortunately, the rain did not really abate, and Tom struggled with low grip for all of the race. Oliver drove a really controlled race and battled his way up the order and at one stage I was hopeful we were going to get a points finish. Obviously, the end of the race turned into a little bit of a casino, but that’s the beauty of racing sometimes. We have spent some time as a team working through the train of events that followed and I am confident it won’t happen again. I would like to thank everyone in the team for being so self-critical in this situation, we will go forwards strongly as a team as a result of the conversations this evening.”

The all-electric racing action starts again tomorrow morning with the third Free Practice session of the Valencia E-Prix starting at 08:00 CET, the Qualifying groups at 10:00 CET and Round 6 Race of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship at 14:04 CET.

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