NIO 333 Formula E team to move to new Silverstone base

The NIO 333 team will shift to a new base in Silverstone in September as part of owner Lisheng Racing‘s plans to bring its entire UK-based workforce under one roof.

NIO 333 Formula E team to move to new Silverstone base

The Chinese-flagged team currently operates out of two facilities in the UK, using both the workshop of its predecessor NEXT EV in Donington Park - where all Formula E teams were located at the inception of the championship - as well as its own innovation centre in Oxford.

But following the conclusion of the 2020/21 Formula E season in August, its team of 30-35 people will work from a new 1100 sqm Technical Centre in the motorsport valley in Silverstone.

NIO 333 will continue to maintain a physical base in China, where an additional five-to-10 people manage the commercial and marketing side of the team.

The outfit’s China-based staff used to make monthly visits to the UK to facilitate coordination between the two groups, but they’ve been forced to work remotely since the start of the pandemic in late 2019.

Explaining NIO 333’s decision to shift to a new building, the team’s Chief Tech Officer Duncan Laycock told Autosport: “Historically, we’ve been split across two sites with the company. 

“Obviously it's a legacy from the original inception of Formula E where every team was located at Donington Park.

"We’ve always maintained a presence in Donington Park with our workshop effectively being there and the engineering side works out of an innovation centre in Oxford. 

“But from the very beginning of the latest ownership of the company it was identified that having everyone under one roof will be beneficial and therefore we’ve elected to relocate like many people do to Silverstone. 

“It has all of the benefits of suppliers and it’s generally a good hub for retaining staff to the area, with everybody being located in that region. 

“The site we’ve got is just over 1100 sqm but there’s an adjoining unit so there’s potential for us to expand, and the aim to be in there by September. 

“In this time when everything is remote you see the benefits when you come together on a race weekend and how the information flow is improved. 

“So while I’m sure that we will retain an element of remote working because that works for many people and their personal lives, trying to get two or three days with everybody under one roof is definitely going to move us forward.”

Oliver Turvey, NIO 333 001, Rene Rast, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Audi e-tron FE07

Oliver Turvey, NIO 333 001, Rene Rast, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Audi e-tron FE07

Photo by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images

With its new technical centre, NIO 333 will make increased use of dynamometers to cut its reliance on on-track private testing, which is limited by Formula E to 15 days per manufacturer.

PLUS: Why Formula E is plotting a major change of philosophy

It will also use its FE expertise in other areas of the automotive industry, hence generating ancillary revenue for the team.

“We are currently trying to look at expanding our facilities, that’s mainly towards rig testing,” Laycock explained. “Dyno facilities is a good way of progressing yourself well without using your precious testing days and that’s even more important now between season 7 and season 8.

“But longer term we are looking at expanding towards what we are doing as a company, not solely towards Formula E, as there is a lot of expertise within the company and it’s nice to use those for other applications, whether that be automotive consultancy or also niche vehicles and motorsport projects. 

“The parent company of the Formula E team, BIE, have strong associations with many Chinese automotive manufacturers and suppliers and they are always in need of consultancy assistance to be able to progress, usually things like halo projects and items like that. That’s probably where we see ourselves expanding.”

NIO 333 has made a tangible step in performance this season with its first in-house powertrain, scoring points in five of the nine races so far.

shares
comments

Related video

Why Formula E is plotting a major change of philosophy
Previous article

Why Formula E is plotting a major change of philosophy

Next article

China set to return to Formula E calendar for 2021-22 season

China set to return to Formula E calendar for 2021-22 season
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2021-22 Plus

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2021-22

After a wild 2020-21 season, this year's Formula E campaign had a much stronger narrative to it, but ended with the same result as a driver from the Silver Arrows squad triumphed. Here's our guide to those who shone brightest during the campaign

Formula E
Oct 1, 2022
The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title Plus

The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title

After Nyck de Vries was crowned Formula E champion in 2021, his Mercedes team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne stepped forward this season as the Gen2 era and his team bowed out. As he did on the way to the GP2 crown in 2015, the Belgian achieved a peerless level of consistency and was only outside the points once, with his sole win in Monaco sufficient to head off a chasing pack headed by Mitch Evans

Formula E
Sep 19, 2022
Why Bird can bounce back after a tough 2021-22 Formula E season Plus

Why Bird can bounce back after a tough 2021-22 Formula E season

With his winning streak coming to an end this season, the 2021-22 Formula E season was tumultuous for Sam Bird, failing to gather momentum as Jaguar generally struggled. But the long-term favourite looks forward to bouncing back next season as the championship enters its new era

Formula E
Aug 30, 2022
What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2 Plus

What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2

The 2021-2022 Formula E season finale brought the curtain down on the Gen2 era of the all-electric world championship. It elevated FE to new heights, fulfilling its intended directive. While it is a good launching pad for the impending Gen3 cycle, there are certain aspects the series must tackle for the new era to have the same impact as its predecessor

Formula E
Aug 16, 2022
The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge Plus

The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge

The odds were heavily stacked in Stoffel Vandoorne’s favour to capture the Formula E crown at the Seoul finale, but chief rival Mitch Evans applied maximum pressure with victory in the first race. It meant Vandoorne had to show his resolve to reproduce the key qualities he held all season to complete his march to the title

Formula E
Aug 15, 2022
Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title? Plus

Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title?

Stoffel Vandoorne is on the brink of the Formula E title with a commanding lead ahead of the Seoul finale, but both rivals and unknowns still stand in his way. Here’s a run through of what Vandoorne must overcome to clinch the championship and how his competition will look to pull off the biggest of shocks

Formula E
Aug 10, 2022
How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon Plus

How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon

It might not look like the most glittering of Formula E campaigns, but Dragon Penske’s youngster has caught the eye of those who count despite his future remaining unclear. Regardless of the distortion, Sergio Sette Camara has a clear vision of what he’s focused on and how to get there

Formula E
Aug 4, 2022
How Formula E's title fight gave way to Dennis and Di Grassi in the dockyards Plus

How Formula E's title fight gave way to Dennis and Di Grassi in the dockyards

The penultimate stop on Formula E's world tour took in London's ExCeL, where the championship contenders were upstaged by two first-time winners in 2022. Andretti’s Jake Dennis kept the home fires burning in the first race as Venturi’s Lucas di Grassi claimed the second, but two consistent finishes mean its advantage Stoffel Vandoorne heading to the Seoul finale

Formula E
Aug 1, 2022