The NextEV NIO Formula E Team collected five championship points today in Mexico City, with Oliver Turvey collecting three points for pole position and Nelson Piquet Jr picking up a further two points for finishing ninth. The fourth round of the 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship took place at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in the Mexican capital.
In Nelson’s qualifying group, Loic Duval crashed on the outlap, causing a red flag which meant that Nelson did not have a warm up lap before setting his qualifying time. This caused grip issues and he started the race from 16th. In the initial stages of the race he was cautious, avoiding incidents around him, running in 19th. By lap 17 he had moved up to 15th and held the fastest lap for four laps from lap ten. He made his mandatory stop on lap 25, but an issue in the pits caused a delay on exit, putting him back out on track in 18th. By lap 34 he had moved up to 14th and, a lap later, he gained two further places when Jose Mario Lopez and Sebastien Buemi both spun. He had moved into a points scoring position by lap 38, and on the final lap he moved up another place to 9th when Jerome D’Ambrosio ran out of energy. The result meant that Nelson collected two Championship points.
Oliver, who celebrated his 30th birthday on race day in Mexico, secured his first ever Formula E pole position in qualifying today. He was originally due to start second, behind Daniel Abt, but was promoted to pole after Abt was handed a penalty, seeing the German sent to the back of the grid. The pole position awarded Oliver and the NextEV NIO team three Championship points. Oliver led the race comfortably from pole all the way up to lap 13 when he suffered a technical issue with the car and stopped out on track. He tried to reset the system but to no avail and he was forced into early retirement.
The next race will take place on 13 May 2017 on the streets of Monaco.
Nelson Piquet Jr (Car #3) – finished 9th
“It’s been a disappointing day. Essentially I made a mistake in qualifying and the team made a mistake in the race so it wasn’t a good day. I was a little bit unlucky in qualifying as we lost the warm-up lap and had to go straight out to our hot lap. I pushed a bit too hard and didn’t get a good lap in. In the race we lost time in the pitstop and then our strategy was less than ideal; sometimes you need to roll the dice and take a few risks. We will look at what went wrong and work to improve by the next race.”
Oliver Turvey (Car #88) – DNF
“It was great to get pole position, my first in Formula E, and to get some points on the board before the race even started. This morning we showed the pace of the car and pole position was a great result for the whole team. The start of the race went well and I was leading for the first stages. I could see that Jose Mario Lopez and I were pulling a gap and then, on lap 13, when I was exiting the last chicane the car cut off and went into neutral. We need to understand why that happened. I try to reset the car but it wouldn’t work so that was the end of the race. It’s such a shame to go out of the race in the lead but at least we showed we had the pace today."
Gérry Hughes, Team Principal
"We are all bitterly disappointed with the result today. Oliver had an electrical issue with his car, which we were unable to recover from. This is something we need to look into as we need to be converting these strong qualifying positions into strong race results. For Nelson it came down to a strategy decision and comparing to the result achieved by Di Grassi, we should have pitted earlier. To add insult to injury, we also lost 13 seconds in the pitstop so we need to understand what happened there. It’s clearly frustrating, as we have demonstrated that we have the pace but we need to be making the best of our opportunities. Now we turn our attentions to the European season where we are determined to improve on our race results. On a positive note we were able to collect five championship points today.