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.

Tom Blomqvist, NIO 333

Tom Blomqvist, NIO 333

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

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 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.

Read Also:

“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."

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 Autosport.

“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

New Dragon FE car now expected to debut in Monaco

Previous article

New Dragon FE car now expected to debut in Monaco

Next article

FIA asks FE teams to review braking systems following Mortara shunt

FIA asks FE teams to review braking systems following Mortara shunt
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula E
Drivers Tom Blomqvist
Teams NIO Formula E Team
Author Rachit Thukral
How Valencia E-Prix farce left Formula E with an image problem Plus

How Valencia E-Prix farce left Formula E with an image problem

Formula E was under the microscope at Valencia, on its first visit to a permanent circuit. But after a mere nine drivers were left classified following Saturday's Valencia E-Prix, the electric championship once more faced criticism after rising energy deductions and miscalculations produced a farcical affair

Formula E
Apr 25, 2021
The silver bullet signing that has launched Jaguar into title contention Plus

The silver bullet signing that has launched Jaguar into title contention

It's taken a long time for Jaguar to reach the cusp of contending for championships in Formula E. But, after last season's challenge crumbled in Berlin, the team has been bolstered by a top-line arrival who has helped to end an unwanted 30-year wait

Formula E
Apr 22, 2021
How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome Plus

How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome

Another Formula E double-header, another double dose of frantic action. While the form guide remains unpredictable following fightback wins for Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne in Rome, the speed and consistency of Mercedes – both on and off the track – could have its rivals worried for what is to follow

Formula E
Apr 12, 2021
What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future Plus

What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future

Formula E's Gen3 era grid continues to take shape, after Nissan opted to commit to the series for another four years. Nissan's global chief operating officer explains why it has thrown its lot in with FE while other high-profile marques have decided to call it quits

Formula E
Mar 24, 2021
Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start Plus

Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start

With the new Formula E season belatedly getting underway in Saudi Arabia, the championship appeared to try to make up for lost time with an overspill of action and controversy on and off the track. While some talking points could have serious repercussions, it was an explosive opener for many reasons

Formula E
Mar 1, 2021
How Andretti is planning for life after BMW Plus

How Andretti is planning for life after BMW

Michael Andretti's team is a Formula E ever-present and that's not about to change despite BMW's forthcoming exit. But, with both its drivers contracted to the German giant and McLaren weighing up a possible entry, some key decisions lie ahead

Formula E
Feb 26, 2021
The eight major plotlines to watch in Formula E 2021 Plus

The eight major plotlines to watch in Formula E 2021

The delayed 2020-21 Formula E season gets underway this week with a double-header in Saudi Arabia. The testing times were too close to call a favourite, but that's not the only area of interest to follow as the championship enters a crucial year

Formula E
Feb 25, 2021
Why Formula E's 2021 season will be a crucial litmus test Plus

Why Formula E's 2021 season will be a crucial litmus test

As off-track politics threatens to overshadow events on it, the upcoming Formula E season is perhaps its most important since the championship's inception. And that's a shame, given that the focus should be on what promises to be its closest title fight yet

Formula E
Feb 24, 2021