Just Electric

NIO: A Challenging Season

NIO’s Season 4 was characterised by strong qualifying performances from Oliver Turvey although the pace over a race was something of an area to work on. Following a season which saw Turvey score a podium in Mexico City and Luca Filippi and Ma Qing Hua share the second car for a combined total of a point, the hope was for a chance to build on this.

The fact that Turvey was going to be driving one of the cars was a no-brainer after his performances the previous season and the team decided to hire the equally rapid Tom Dillmann after the Frenchman made an impressive cameo in New York for Venturi, replacing Edoardo Mortara due to his DTM commitments that weekend.

Wins 0

Poles 0

Fastest laps (top 10 only) 0

Teams’ Championship position 11th (7 points)

Drivers’ Championship position Oliver Turvey – 20th (7 points); Tom Dillmann – 23rd (0 points)

To say it was a trying season for NIO would be an understatement and then some. Following Season 4, there was real sense of optimism in the team. The high points of the season were few and far between although Oliver Turvey finishing eighth in Santiago de Chille would arguably have to be up there along with his other points scoring appearances in Hong Kong and the first race in New York.

The low points of the season were unfortunately, more frequent. The first race in Ad Diriyah was particularly galling for the team as Dillmann had qualified second on the grid behind the eventual race winner, Antonio Felix da Costa. Unfortunately, he had exceeded the maximum amount of qualifying laps and also didn’t have a data logger sensor, something which Turvey’s car also lacked. As a result, they were sent to the back of the grid with all of their lap times deleted. Bern was also a race to forget for the team as both drivers were four tenths from the next slowest car in the qualifying and had a lacklustre race for good measure.

#8 – Tom Dillmann

Tom Dillmann was the only driver to contest the full Formula E season and not score any points. This however, isn’t a true reflection on the Frenchman’s abilities behind the wheel and far from it. To say he suffered from some horrendously bad luck would be a massive understatement. Whilst the high points were on paper, few and far between, the way he went from last to 14th in Ad-Diriyah was one of the better moments alongside the pair of 12th place finishes in Hong Kong and Sanya. Aside from qualifying in Ad-Diriyah, one of the other notable low points for Dillmann would be Santiago de Chile where he qualified last and was the first retirement as well as Paris where he started ninth but was also the first retirement from the race.

#16 – Oliver Turvey

Oliver Turvey had a season that was also pretty average although he did his best with the recalcitrant NIO Sport 004. The fact he was able to qualify 10th in Mexico City and go from 18th to eighth in Santiago de Chille and from 19th to ninth in Hong Kong are testament to his abilities as a driver and are some of the reasons why he is constantly regarded by his peers as one of the most underrated drivers on the grid.  As for the lower points if we exclude Bern and the qualifying in Ad-Diriyah, Monaco would be notable for his only retirement of the season. Bern was also the only time all season where he finished behind his teammate in a race.

Rob Lomas

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