Driver line-up and new livery unveiled at first official test
07.00hrs BST, Tuesday 23 August 2016
The NextEV Formula E Team has today announced its driver line-up and revealed the new livery for its 2016/17 challenger, ahead of the first official pre-season test at Donington Park, UK, which begins later this morning.
The team is delighted to announce that Nelson Piquet Jr and Oliver Turvey remain with the team for the 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship. The strong line-up - with both drivers extending their relationship with the team on a multi-season agreement - ensures that the NextEV Formula E Team has consistency in terms of drivers for the upcoming season. The development process for the new car has involved both Piquet Jr and Turvey, who have been a major part of the team’s private pre-season testing at Calafat in Spain.
Piquet Jr won the inaugural Formula E Drivers’ Championship in London in June 2015 for the NextEV Formula E team after scoring two race wins along the way, at Long Beach and Moscow, and podiums in Punta del Este, Buenos Aires and Monaco. It was at the season finale in the series’ maiden year that Turvey made his first appearance for the squad, impressing on his Formula E debut with two points finishes on the narrow Battersea street circuit. He subsequently joined Piquet Jr for a full season with the team for the 2015/16 season.
The NextEV Formula E Team’s new 2016/17 car has successfully completed 14 full days of private testing at the tight and twisty Calafat Circuit in Spain. Testing has focused on the development of the all-new NextEV 700R powertrain and set-up programmes for the season’s challenging street circuits, with the development car in the hands of Piquet Jr, Turvey and Ben Hanley.
Adding further strength to the outfit, the NextEV Formula E team has appointed a number of new members this season. Gerry Hughes remains Chief Race Engineer and is joined by Paul Fickers as Chief Technical Officer (who was previously Head of Vehicle Testing at Fiat Group Automobiles and has held senior positions at Ferrari and Maserati), and Barry Mortimer as Team Manager (who joins from Team Aguri). A carefully selected line-up of experienced engineers, technicians, mechanics and support staff also join the team, with some familiar faces from the first two seasons remaining. Reflecting NextEV’s global set-up, the Formula E team comprises members from the UK, China, Brazil, Italy, France and Germany.
The drivers will be competing in a 2016/17 car that continues to run the popular teal and grey colour scheme in a fresh design for the upcoming season, which also features flashes of the national flags of the respective drivers. The reveal took place at the Leicestershire race track before the start of the electric championship’s first official three-day test, running 23-25 August.
Following this week’s official test, the NextEV Formula E team will return to Donington Park for the second, and final, official pre-season test on 5-7 September 2016. The 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship will get underway on 9 October 2016, with the series’ first visit to Hong Kong.
Martin Leach, President, NextEV and Team Principal, NextEV Formula E Team: “After the many months of hard work that everyone at the team has put in, we are delighted to reveal our NextEV Formula E Team 2016/17 challenger. We are pleased with the progress made during private testing and are looking forward to continuing our extensive testing programme at this week’s test. Our new powertrain, increased regeneration levels and technical upgrades have us set for an exciting season ahead. Our team has further been strengthened with the appointment of new members, as we move into the next phase of NextEV’s involvement with Formula E. We are also happy to retain both Nelson and Oliver as we prepare to challenge for the 2016/17 championship. We believe we have the strongest driver pairing in the series and, with both drivers having contributed to the development of the new car, we are confident that we will be at the sharp end of the grid once again.”
Nelson Piquet Jr: “With NextEV fully committed to the Formula E programme, I believe that the team has a very strong long-term future. I am happy to be continuing to race with the team that I won the world championship with, and we are looking forward to being able to fight for victories again next season. We have come off the back of a challenging season, but that meant we learnt a lot and we are stronger for it. I’m very happy to be racing alongside Oliver again. He’s a fantastic teammate and we’re working hard to achieve a strong team performance this season.”
Oliver Turvey: “I am delighted to be able to continue racing for the NextEV Formula E Team. They gave me my first opportunity in the series so I am excited to continue the journey together with the team. I would like to thank Martin Leach and the whole team for putting their faith and support in me to be part of the NextEV future. I learnt a lot in my first full season and have taken this experience into the summer testing to work with the team on developing the new car. The team and I have similarly high ambitions for the season ahead and we will work hard together to achieve them. I know how much effort everyone at NextEV has put in so I can’t wait to start racing!”
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Notes to Editors:
About Nelson Piquet Jr: Piquet Jr has a wealth of motorsport experience and success. A championship winner in Formula E, British F3 and South American F3, he has also scored race and class victories in the Le Mans 24hrs NASCAR Nationwide Series (now XFINITY), NASCAR Truck Series, Global Rallycross, GP2 Series and A1GP. He is also a podium finisher in Formula 1 and GRC at the X Games. He has twinned this year’s Formula E duties with the World Endurance Championship. The forthcoming campaign sees Piquet Jr competing in his third straight Formula E season.
About Oliver Turvey: Turvey has a notable single-seater and sportscar racing career stretching over twenty years. He was the recipient of the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award in 2006, the year he finished as vice champion in Formula BMW. He was vice champion in 2008 in British F3 and also raced in the GP2 Series and Formula Renault 3.5. He has competed in the FIA WEC, including at the Le Man 24hrs, where he has scored a class victory, and is currently combining Formula E duties with Japanese Super GT. He has also fulfilled the role of McLaren F1 test driver for six seasons.