Track: 2018 Julius Baer Zurich E-Prix
Track length: 2.465 kilometres
10 June 2018: For the first time in 60 years, circuit racing returned to Switzerland in the form of the inaugural Zurich E-Prix today, and it proved to be a nail-biting event for the NIO Formula E Team.
With a physically demanding circuit measuring 2.46km in length, Round Ten of the 2017/18 ABB FIA Formula E Championship saw the NIO 003 all-electric challengers race along the lakeside, past the Arboretum and the E-Village festival, before bearing left into the historic city centre and looping back to the start/finish line in front of the picturesque Enge harbour.
British racing driver Oliver Turvey, in the #16 NIO 003, secured another valuable two points for the NIO Formula E Team after a hard-fought battle through the grid to P9; a climb of 11 places from his starting grid position. Italian-born Luca Filippi, who had accompanied his team mate on the back row for the start of the race, suffered a brake system issue, forcing the team to take the decision to retire his #68 NIO 003 from the contest on lap 20.
Oliver Turvey (#16 NIO 003)
“It’s been an up and down day. In practice we had good pace and then in qualifying I had a really good first corner, the best of the weekend, but then lost the rear in turn two which caught me by surprise. The race was always going to be difficult from the back of the grid, but we recovered well. We had a good strategy and saved a lot of energy at the start so I was able to overtake some cars in the first stint up to lap 21. Unfortunately, the Full Course Yellow came at a bad time for us and meant that the energy we’d saved couldn’t be used. But in the second stint we had a good pit stop and managed the energy well. We were able to pick up a few more positions and get in to the points in ninth, which was a pleasing way to finish the race after starting from the back.”
Luca Filippi (#68 NIO 003)
“We were doing a different strategy today, starting from the back, so we were saving a lot of energy at the beginning. Unfortunately, with the full course yellow we all had to pit at the same time and we couldn’t make our strategy work. We would have gone one lap longer and we would have pushed while everyone was in the pits, but it was not to be. After that, with the second car, I had a brake issue and I tried for a lap or two but I had to retire the car unfortunately. It could have been a good race, again we have no points from today, but we have New York coming up and two chances to do well.”
Gérry Hughes, Team Principal, NIO Formula E Team
“After what was an extremely disappointing Qualifying Session for the NIO Formula E Team earlier today, we leave Zurich with a small haul of well-deserved championship points after Oliver’s storming drive from 20th on the Grid to finish inside the top ten.
Clearly, we as a team need to understand the issue with effected Oliver’s Qualifying lap earlier today but I feel that we partially redeemed ourselves this afternoon with Oliver’s charge from dead-last on the Grid.
Luca also had another poor qualifying result and end-up starting from the last row of the Grid alongside his team mate. However, his race was curtailed immediately after the pit stop when Luca reported a long brake pedal and with driver safety being our primary concern, we unfortunately had to retire the car.
And so, whilst our first race event in Zurich has not brought us the spoils that we were ultimately seeking, we can leave here with renewed optimism that the NIO 003 is still a quick car and we will continue to fight until the conclusion of the season in New York City.”
The final double-header event of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship shall be the 2018 New York E-Prix on 14th and 15th July.