NIO 333 "surprised a few people" with Formula E turnaround

Tom Blomqvist says the NIO 333 Formula E team “surprised a few people” in the paddock with the massive step in performance it made coming into the 2020/21 season.

NIO 333 "surprised a few people" with Formula E turnaround

After failing to score points in what was its worst campaign in Formula E in 2019/20, the NIO 333 team bounced back strongly in the season opener in Riyadh in February to catch the attention of its rivals.

Oliver Turvey scored points in both rounds of the double header, managing a best finish of sixth in Race 2 - NIO 333’s best result since the 2018 Berlin E-Prix.

New recruit Blomqvist was also set for a top 10 result after breaking into superpole, but NIO 333’s hopes of a first double points finish in the Gen2 era were wrecked when the British driver was hit by BMW Andretti’s Maximilian Gunther.

Nevertheless, the Chinese-owned outfit sits 10th in the championship heading into this weekend’s Rome races, ahead of race-winning teams Mahindra Racing and BMW Andretti.

Blomqvist, who is contesting his first full Formula season this year, said the NIO 333 staff worked their “backsides off” over the winter and sacrificed the 2019/20 season in order to build a brand-new powertrain for this year.

“I think hopefully we surprised a few people,” the British driver told Autosport/Motorsport.com when asked how the paddock reacted to NIO 333's turnaround in performance in 2021.

“The team itself have been working backsides off, working super hard. So, we obviously knew we made a big step forward, that’s what everyone’s been working so hard to do. 

“So, it was really cool to see everyone. I can hear on the radio when we were doing superpole, all the claps. For sure it was cool for the guys, the mechanics [and] everyone to basically have the cars at the front of the field. 

“And yeah, we surprised a few people. We also proved how competitive the season is going to be, how close it is going to be and how hard it is going to be to consistently get a good result.

He added: “I would say they compromised the [2019/20] season a little bit to get ready for the new powertrain and so on for this season. 

“They put in the effort to basically try and improve the areas. They knew for example they had a weak powertrain last season. 

“So, obviously there was nothing they could do there, so they had to focus on other areas and build upon that. 

“Now we know we’ve got a competitive powertrain, we have to focus again on weaknesses and keep building those areas."

Read Also:

Blomqvist feels NIO 333 now has a package to become a regular points contender in Formula E but stressed that several external factors will come into play for the Chinese team to consistently finish inside the top 10.

“We are going to go to every race and obviously the goal is to get points, that’s not a question,” the 27-year-old told Motorsport.com. 

“But we know realistically for us to pick up points we need to get everything perfect, and we need maybe others to not get everything perfect. That’s the reality. 

“If we can qualify well then yes, we have the chance to score points for sure, but it’s not a given that every weekend we should be getting points. 

“I believe that the car is definitely capable of getting into the points regularly. We just need to be optimising everything and we should be picking up some small points here and there.

“It’s not going to be easy for sure because we still got work to do to improve our performance over the course of the race."

shares
comments

Related video

NIO indicates commitment to Formula E Gen3 rules
Previous article

NIO indicates commitment to Formula E Gen3 rules

Next article

Mercedes: Final call on Gen3 rules "in the next few weeks"

Mercedes: Final call on Gen3 rules "in the next few weeks"
Load comments
De Vries: Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2 Prime

De Vries: Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was wide open until the final race after its most unpredictable season yet. Eventual champion Nyck de Vries explains why this made his title-winning experience such a different experience to conquering F2 in 2019

Formula E
Dec 7, 2021
Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong Prime

Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong

Formula E welcomes a mix of past, present and future for the 2021-22 season. The old guard facing off against a sprinkling of newcomers, a fresh qualifying format amid a sporting rules shake-up and a range of minor tweaks to the existing all-electric machines are all subplots to the final campaign before the next generation arrives

Formula E
Dec 3, 2021
The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams Prime

The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams

Electing not to share data with its competitive customer team would have been a straightforward means of gaining an edge on at least one of Mercedes' Formula E rivals last season. But by reciprocating the relationship forged under its initial HWA guise, when it was a customer to Venturi, both teams have reaped the rewards

Formula E
Nov 30, 2021
How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait Prime

How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait

With its ultra-successful sister team in Formula 1 and a support network providing some of the best minds and resources in the business, Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James knew his squad had all the winning ingredients. But mixing it together was no easy feat and required key attributes to be grown from within

Formula E
Nov 29, 2021
How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself Prime

How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself

OPINION: Few figures in racing today divide opinion like Dan Ticktum. The Formula 2 race winner now has the chance to wipe his professional slate clean with his move into Formula E, but it won't be easy at the squad which has brought up the rear for the past three years. Here are the three key criteria he must meet to make a lasting impression on the series.

Formula E
Nov 27, 2021
How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E Prime

How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E

By virtue of its Formula 1 success, Mercedes was expected to rise to power in Formula E before long. That it won both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships this year, after only two seasons as a full works effort, belies a tricky path littered with potential pitfalls

Formula E
Nov 26, 2021
Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive Prime

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

OPINION: Circuit racing has traditionally favoured front- or rear-wheel-drive setups, eschewing the equal distribution of power. But for Formula E and other electric-powered series, our columnist believes it’s a perfect fit.

Formula E
Oct 13, 2021
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Prime

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021