NIO 333 Formula E Team’s Oliver Turvey started Friday night’s opening race of season seven Diriyah race 1 in Saudi Arabia from 13th place on the grid and came through the field to finish the race in tenth place and speaking following the race he commented saying:
I had a clean start and was able to gain a position in to turn 1, getting around the outside of Nato, which helped a lot in the first stint of the race. I was able to keep a gap to him and the first laps felt quite competitive with the guys around me. I think we managed the race well as a team; it was nice to be back racing again! The two safety periods made the restarts tricky, but we did a good job and took Attack Modes at the right times and came through the race without any issues. To move forward from P13 to finish P10 for the first race of season 7 is a good step from last year, and I’m really happy to be able to score the first points for the team in the first Formula E World Championship season.
Tom Blomqvist qualified for the race in seventh place however he was penalized for Failing to reduce speed under double yellow flag and started the race from 22nd place.
Blomqvist who came home in 18th place and speaking following the race he said:
The day started well; the engineers made changes overnight and the car felt much better this morning. I was confident going in to qualifying as I was in a good group, the pace was there, and I set a good lap time. But unfortunately, due to a sporting infringement, I had my time removed and after that I was going to be starting on the back foot, which was very frustrating. At the start of the race I then had a drive through penalty for an over-power, which obviously makes life even more difficult. With the way the safety cars panned out here, the pace of the [race] cars just gets too quick and to make up any ground from the back becomes very difficult.
But there are positives. Oliver scored a point for the team and that’s great for the guys. We now know that we have a car that can fight for points and that there’s a base there that we can fight with. We just have to keep improving and building on that. We have another race tomorrow, so hopefully we can take what we learned today and improve again for race two. It should be good.
NIO 333 FE Team Principal Christian Silk commented saying:
It’s great to be able to score a World Championship point at the first race of the season. Oliver drove a well-controlled race under exceptionally difficult conditions and came away with his just rewards. I am sorry for Tom that he did not have a clear run at things, but it’s very encouraging how quickly he has settled into the team and his pace in qualifying was truly impressive, so I am sure we can look forwards to a great season with him.
I would like to thank the whole team for all its hard work. The race was certainly challenging for the engineers to control with all the safety car periods, and to keep the mechanics on their toes we threw some challenging hardware changes at them which they coped with admirably. Finally, I would like to thank the rest of the team in China and the UK, as ever they had our backs!