NIO’s Russell O’Hagan: Mexico City is “where we find out ultimately where we are”

NIO 333 Racing‘s exciting journey as an official Gen3 powertrain supplier for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is about to get underway, with this weekend’s Mexico City E-Prix marking the start of the Gen3 era of Formula E.

NIO enter the third era of the sport following an unsuccessful four-year spell in Gen2, where the Chinese team failed to claim a single podium. The start of a new era, though, presents NIO with a chance to start over and move off the foot of the grid, a slot they held for the vast majority of Gen2. The Silverstone-based team enter the new era as the only powertrain supplier without a customer team, something which might harm them in regard to gathering data.

This might work against Dan Ticktum and new signing Sérgio Sette Câmara, who both suffered from “some issues” during pre-season testing, In fairness to NIO, though, everyone suffered from technical issues, with so much being unknown with the most advanced electric race cars ever seen. Despite the issues they faced and the fact that they were still the slowest team on the timesheets during testing, there is a real sense of optimism surrounding the side, who more than anything else deserve to move off the bottom.

This weekend at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez will be the moment when the team discover “where we are” in the pecking order, according to Deputy Team Principal Russell O’Hagan.

No matter what happens this weekend for NIO, O’Hagan is incredibly proud of the “hard work” that the team has put into their Gen3 challenger, the NIO 333 ER9.

“We had a really positive test at Valencia, where we showed good pace and managed to get a lot of work done, even though we lost a few laps with some issues.

“We obviously don’t know what everyone else was doing in the test, whether other teams were keeping their cards close to their chest or working through any challenges, so the first race weekend is where we find out ultimately where we are and where we need to improve.

“It’s a big moment to be heading in to the first Gen3 race. We have been working on the project for over two years already so it’s great to have it all come together, not only as a team but a championship. A huge amount of hard work has been put in across the board.”