The long wait is nearly over. With less than two weeks to go until Formula E regroups in Berlin for the season finale, the newest member of NIO 333 FE Team, Daniel Abt, had his first taste of the NIO FE-005 machine on the team’s filming day.
We had a chat with him after his first experience of the car, and he shared with us his thoughts and how it feels to join the team.
Q: How do you feel about joining NIO 333? What do you think after your first taste of the NIO FE-005 car?
Daniel Abt: I am pleased with everything so far. The team gave me a very nice welcome. There is still a lot to learn, a new team and a new car. I think we got into a good rhythm very quickly, it is not like I am driving a completely new car. All in all, I think the car felt very natural to me. I have seen there’s very good motivation within the team. They are really doing everything possible to get me up to speed. Also, I will work with team manager Roberto Costa again. We have worked together before, including in FE, GP2 etc.
Q: How do you compare the car, the powertrain and the energy recovery system to the cars you have driven before?
DA: Powertrain and energy recovery is not something we can really judge yet. You don’t really feel it when you just drive by yourself, but I feel quite positive. I am actually surprised how good the car feels and how good the software feels. It doesn’t feel different to what I am used to. By pure feeling, everything feels normal to me.
Q: How do you feel about the new software? Is it easy to adapt to?
DA: The software is new to me, but it does not feel difficult to drive. I need to learn all the (steering wheel) switches, all the commands, and the names in order to communicate with the engineers. After spending a few hours in the simulator, I am already feeling quite good. We have covered many aspects of a race weekend in the simulator already. The team is also really helpful; they are giving me all the information I need to race.
Q: What do you think about the three different layouts for the Berlin finale?
DA: I think it is pretty cool to have three different layouts for the Berlin finale, especially the reverse layout, it will completely change the circuit. I think these changes are going to make the race more exciting, and more challenging. We have done some practice in the simulator and I think energy saving will be the key. The third layout is a bit different (to the original layout), it reminds me of the New York ePrix track in some ways. It is a nice track and I quite like it. In conclusion, it is good that FE has created these different layouts, it will be good for the fans and this is also a good solution to stage the final rounds of the season.
Q: After all the preparation with NIO 333, how do you rate your chances of getting NIO 333 its first points of the season at your home race?
DA: It is hard to judge, but I think it is a clear goal for us. The team needs to score points and it is my job as a driver to try my best to achieve that. With the experience I have, I will try to put in positive input. We don’t know what the others did in the past few months, but we will prepare for the race as best as we can. In Formula E, so many things can happen, your position is not certain until you go across the finish line. Scoring points is our goal and I will go for it, and I am sure we will be very happy if we can achieve it.