Great pace and points for NIO 333 Racing Formula E Team in Diriyah
The NIO 333 Racing Formula E Team moved a further step forward with a strong weekend at Rounds 2 and 3 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in Saudi Arabia, with Dan Ticktum qualifying an impressive fourth place on Friday, and then going on to score the first points of the season on Saturday.
The NIO 333 ER9 was lightning-fast right from the start at the Diriyah street circuit, with Ticktum topping the time sheets in the second free practice session, leading the field by more than two-tenths of a second.
Ticktum then replicated that pace in the qualifying session later that day, blasting straight through his group, and then won the first of the head-to-head duels to go through to the semi-finals, which meant he secured fourth place on the grid for Friday’s race.
Sérgio Sette Câmara was eighth fastest in his group, setting an equally competitive time but in a session which was less disrupted than his team-mate’s group. The Brazilian star qualified in 11th position, but after a three-place penalty for an incident in qualifying he’d line up 14th.
During the race, Ticktum and Sette Câmara had an uneventful run, with Ticktum dropping down the order as his rivals maximised their attack modes and with Ticktum struggling with his energy consumption. He fell back to finish the race in 14th position, with Sette Câmara just behind him. The team then turned its attention to improving its race pace for Saturday overnight.
For Round 3 on Saturday, the team’s practice pace was again incredibly promising, with Ticktum second quickest in the afternoon session. The team’s two cars were in the same group in a tough qualifying session and set fast times in the early running, but didn’t improve in the final moments when the track was rubbering in. This meant Ticktum and Sette Câmara would line up 11th and 13th on the grid for the race.
In the race, Sette Câmara picked up a place at the start and was running just behind his team-mate in the early stages, but would slowly drop down the order during as he struggled with the balance of his car.
Ticktum and the NIO 333 team had found more pace for the #33 car overnight, with Ticktum getting his two attack mode deployments out of the way early on and ran in 12th for much of the E-Prix. Then he was able to pass the Maserati of Maximilian Guenther and the DS Penske of reigning champion Stoffel Vandoorne in the final seven laps to grab tenth place and pick up his and the team’s first points of the season.
With the NIO 333 team again showing strong reliability and incredible one-lap pace, the focus is now on further improving the car’s race pace and chasing more points when the championship visits the Hyderabad street circuit in India in two weeks’ time.
Sérgio Sette Câmara #3
It’s been a very complicated race weekend for me. We tried doing a big setup change on Saturday to see if I can get some confidence on the braking, which is the area where I’ve been struggling this weekend, but unfortunately it went the opposite direction.
The car has been understeering quite a lot, and I’ve had to slow the car in the corners and can’t carry good speed so it’s just really inefficient.
In a few days we’ll start working again towards India. I need to keep improving and work on how to drive this new Gen3 car. I want to thank the team for all their efforts, they’re giving me a lot of support, and we’ll get there eventually.
Dan Ticktum #33
Our one-lap performance has been absolutely great. In Friday’s qualifying I pretty much nailed it, so I was quite proud of that. The team have done a really great job of dialling the car in and extracting as much as we can.
Unfortunately, Friday’s race was very tough. I got into a spiral of overconsuming and getting overtaken. Whilst on Saturday I didn’t quite nail qualifying, and our competition had also improved a little bit as well.
The team made a few small changes overnight which helped a lot in the second race and I was able to be so much more accurate and carry more a lot more minimum speed in the corners – as there’s no getting away from it, we’re a bit down on efficiency. So for me to score a point for the team is great, and I’m very happy. Thanks a lot to the team, a massive well done to them.
Russell O’Hagan – Chief Operations Officer / Deputy Team Principal
Another good step for us this weekend and it’s been really gratifying to consistently show our pace and consolidate on our performance in Mexico.
I am really proud of the fourth place in qualifying on Friday, even more so knowing it was so close to being a front row. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to capitalise in the first race, but the team worked incredibly hard overnight to find more long run performance and delivered perfectly with Dan on Saturday.
We still have a lot of work to improve our race performance where we can, but we will be giving it everything to maximise our potential. A big thanks to the team and drivers for delivering an exceptional weekend.