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NIO 333 has aim of becoming top-three Formula E team by 2025-26

NIO 333 has set its aims on becoming a top-three Formula E team by the 2025-26 season, and is "quietly confident" of its Gen3 package for the upcoming season.

Dan Ticktum, NIO 333, NIO 333 001, Lucas di Grassi, Venturi Racing, Silver Arrow 02, Oliver Askew, Andretti Motorsport, BMW iFE.21

Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Having signed Sergio Sette Camara as one of its drivers for the 2022-23 season, NIO 333 has been testing its ER9 Gen3 car at Varano in Italy, before continuing on to Mallory Park in the UK for further runs.

Although the Anglo-Chinese squad has been largely relegated to the back of the field in recent years following a period of management upheaval, a settled structure has allowed it to accelerate plans for the future.

It scored seven points last season, courtesy of a double-points finish in Rome, which helped it beat Dragon Penske to 10th in the teams' championship despite the American squad's improved form towards the end of the year.

Asked about NIO 333's chances heading into the Gen3 era, deputy team principal Russell O'Hagan says that the Silverstone outfit had initially targeted eighth in the championship - but feels the potential of the car could offer more.

"On paper, and a while ago now, we targeted a top eight finish in the teams’ championship. Sat here right now, and given the progress we have seen, we are hoping for more," said O'Hagan.

"However, it’s more important to see Season 9 as the first step of a four-year plan. We have the aim of being a top three team by Season 12.

"That may seem ambitious, but it’s only bound by practicalities and ones we have mapped out at each point along the way.

"Achieving that level of success requires resource, management, leadership, time, and consistency. There are no short cuts, no magic solutions.

"It won’t come easy, but it’s there for the taking if we can maintain the right focus and direction. Season 9 is about gaining confidence, showing increased performance, and delivering on the trust shown to us by our partners, as well as attracting new ones to join our journey to the front."

Oliver Turvey, NIO 333 Racing, NIO 333 001

Oliver Turvey, NIO 333 Racing, NIO 333 001

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

O'Hagan explained that the closed-doors Varano test, in which NIO 333 took part alongside DS, Mahindra, Nissan, Porsche and Jaguar, offered the team optimism following a chance to compare itself to the other squads on-track.

"The recent test in Varano marked the first opportunity for us to benchmark ourselves against the other five manufacturers. It was incredibly positive and exceeded our expectations.

"We’ve felt we have had a good car since the very first Gen3 test, but having comparative running helped cement that. It’s a boost for the team in what is essentially the development of our first full car as 333 Racing, and testament to what our team has achieved to date.

"There’s still a long way to go before the first race in January 2023, but it feels good to be quietly confident for the season ahead."

Sette Camara was on driving duties for the team, as its second driver is yet to be announced - although NIO 333 is expected to communicate that decision in the coming days.

McLaren is also expected to announce Jake Hughes as its second driver to partner Rene Rast, as the team appears to have opted to promote from within. Hughes was the simulator driver for Mercedes, prior to its McLaren takeover.

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