Round nine of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship around the streets of Monaco on Saturday, 11th May, proved less than fruitful for NIO drivers Oliver Turvey and Tom Dillmann.
Turvey’s day started rather frustratingly with a technical issue in the first practice session but, despite that, he was just over half a second off pole in the group qualifying session later in the day. So competitive was qualifying, however, his best lap translated to 16th quickest with Dillmann having to settle for 21st fastest even though only 0.233 seconds shy of his team-mate.
As a result of several penalties applied to rivals, Turvey started the Monaco E-Prix from an improved 15th on the grid while Dillmann moved up three slots to 18th place.
Gaining a position early on, Turvey held 14th and remained there for the first half of the race until being hit by one of the Audis at the start of the Full Course Yellow period with around 20 minutes to go.
Unfortunately, after pitting to change a resultant punctured tyre and sending the car back out again, it became evident the damage inflicted in the earlier contact was more severe than initially thought. Hence, the team was forced to retire the car ending Oliver’s day.
Dillmann was edged back to 19th place initially, before being shuffled to the back of the pack in 22nd position, but he then started to move up the order and with 15 minutes to go he was into 18th position. During the final part of the E-Prix, Dillmann climbed two further places and after penalties were applied post-race to a couple of rivals, he finished in 14th.
Oliver Turvey, Race Driver, NIO Formula E Team:
“In qualifying I did my best lap of the weekend and another couple of tenths would have moved us up the grid to challenge for Superpole. The start of the race went well, I had a good first lap and made up a couple of positions going into Turn One. The race was really tough, and I tried my best to stay in the fight. Unfortunately, I was hit from behind under the Full Course Yellow and that punctured the rear tyre and did some damage to the rear suspension which put us out of the race. We will come back at the next race and give it our best and keep pushing for points.”
Tom Dillmann, Race Driver, NIO Formula E Team:
“It was a tough race today, despite my best efforts I was just not able to fight for position. I didn’t give up and made the most of the situation and tried to squeeze everything out of it that I could, but the points were out of our reach today. To not be able to fight for points is disappointing, but we will keep trying.”
Gérry Hughes, Team Principal, NIO Formula E Team:
“Whilst Oliver had unfortunate luck in the race, effectively ending his afternoon early, his problems had actually started earlier in the day when we sustained a technical issue with the powertrain which curtailed his track time from the get-go.
Tom had a better run in the morning sessions, with lap time always being super-tight here in Monaco, but it was clear the boys were going to have a challenge in qualifying and as it became evident later on, even more of a challenge in the race. With Berlin only just around the corner, we have our homework to do!”
Formula E now travels to Germany for round 10, the BMW i Berlin E-Prix Presented By CBMM Niobium, which will take place a fortnight from now on Saturday, 25th May.
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