Just Electric

Hughes: Two strong drivers key to championship challenge

Having Tom Dillmann onboard will help NIO mount a serious championship challenge this year, team boss Gerry Hughes believes.

The team are“unhappy” with their finishing result last year, ending the season eighth in the teams’ championship. Dillmann's Season 5 team-mate, Oliver Turvey, scored all but one of their points - with Luca Filippi scoring his only point on his debut in Hong Kong.

Hughes told Just Electric that having two strong drivers will be key to getting the most out of their season five car.

“I think it’s fair to say that we have seen in Formula E that, to be able to mount a serious championship bid, we need to have two drivers that are capable of gaining points,” he said.

“As team principal, my focus has to be on the teams’ championship. To be in a good position to compete with the likes of Audi, Nissan, Mahinrda, whoever it may be, we need to have two good drivers going out there, who are capable of winning races and scoring points.

“That’s very important to us. That’s the catalyst for the changes we’ve made going into season five.”

NIO have already completed 15 days of manufacturer testing over the summer break, but Hughes says it’s impossible to judge where the team will be in the pecking order.

“At the end of the day, we’re not in [Formula E] just to take part. We are in it to win the championship,” he told Just Electric.

“We are putting all the elements in place to ensure we have the best fighting chance of that.

“I’m not going to make any predictions here and now in terms of where we’re going to finish season five, because that’s almost an impossibility, but we were not happy with our finishing position of eighth in the championship. We finished six in season three. So, clearly, we need to put our best foot forward.

“My mission statement every single day is to continue improving. We need to make some improvements and the driver change, the car change, everything we’re doing around the car means that we’re putting our best foot forward to enable us to do that.”

Image courtesy of NIO

 

Bethonie Waring

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