Mexico City has featured on the Formula E calendar since 2016 and played host to some thrilling all-electric races including NIO 333 Formula E Team driver Oliver Turvey’s maiden podium triumph in 2018. But with the circuit currently acting as a COVID-19 vaccination centre, Rounds 8 and 9 of the 2021 FIA Formula E World Championship are taking place at the Autodromo Miguel E. Abed located in the town of Amozoc, east of the city of Puebla and in the shadow of the Popocatepetl volcano.
The 1.85-mile, anti-clockwise Formula E layout at the Autodromo features 15 corners, a bespoke Attack Mode activation run and banked final-corner on a 1.25-mile oval that leads onto the main straight.
Today, in the first race of the double-header Puebla E-Prix event, both NIO 333 FE Team drivers encountered issues during their qualifying laps. However, during an action-packed race where the unique Attack Mode truly mixed up the field throughout, both Oliver and Tom produced solid performances and made up several positions to take the chequered flag in P11 and P13 respectively.
Tom Blomqvist, NIO 333 FE 001 #88
Qualifying Group 4 - Race Grid Position: P24 (P22 after penalties applied) Round 8 Race Result: provisional P13
“It was a mixed day, I would say. Ultimately, in the race we did the best we could and risked a bit of a brave strategy. There was potential to be mid-pack in qualifying, but I pushed a bit too hard in one of the corners. The team has been working super hard and made progress in some areas, so we need to keep chipping away as we are still missing a little bit of pace. We have another race tomorrow, so hopefully we can learn some things overnight and apply them for tomorrow.”
Oliver Turvey, NIO 333 FE 001 #8
Qualifying Group 4 - Race Grid Position: P17 (P15 after penalties applied) Round 8 Race Result: provisional P11
“It was a challenging day as we struggled to find a good feeling with the braking in Free Practice so after a scrappy qualifying lap, we started P15. The race start was strong, and I managed to move forwards a couple of positions on the opening lap. After that we managed the race well as a team and I felt that we got the most out of it to cross the finish line in P11. It was frustrating to just miss out on a Top Ten points finish, but I am glad we have made some improvements thanks to hard work by the team. We’ll try to challenge for points again tomorrow.”
Christian Silk, NIO 333 FE Team Principal
“Formula E certainly delivers a great race. Both the NIO 333 drivers were out of position after a sub-optimal qualifying and we knew we had a lot to do this afternoon. I have to say both Oliver and Tom drove super races - following the plan perfectly and pushing hard but staying out of trouble. For Oliver to qualify P17 and finish the race in P11 is testament to his driving and the job the team did. Tom drove an equally impressive race, having qualified out of position in P24 he made up 11 places to finish P13. I know that the drivers and engineers will learn a lot from today. We have a late night ahead of us going through the data, but we are determined to come back stronger tomorrow. Finally, congratulations to Lucas, Rene, and Allan [Audi Sport]. These guys have contributed so much to Formula E and it’s great to see them take the top spots.”
The action starts all over again tomorrow with the third Free Practice session for Round 9 starting at 09:15 local time (15:00 BST), Qualifying at 12:00 (18:00 BST) and the Race at 16:00 (22:00 BST) to conclude the Mexican event.