Nissan FE’s Tommaso Volpe on season opener: “We’re all starting from scratch”

The Nissan Formula E Team‘s journey as an official Gen3 powertrain supplier will properly begin this weekend at the Mexico City E-Prix, with this weekend’s event at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez being the season-opening race of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

Nissan enter the new era of Formula E full of optimism, with the end of Gen2 having been somewhat disappointing for the Japanese manufacturer. Nissan claimed just two victories in the Gen2 era, something they likely won’t be pleased with given the size and pedigree of the company. Gen3, though, is clearly being treated as a fresh start by the team, who’ve introduced a completely new and relatively inexperienced driver line-up.

Pairing up at Nissan this season is the returning Formula E race winner Norman Nato, who’s last full season in the series was Season Seven, in which the Frenchman claimed victory at the finale in Berlin, Germany. His last actual appearance, though, was the Seoul E-Prix last year, after being brought in to replace Sam Bird, who was ruled out through injury.

Alongside Nato is rookie Sacha Fenestraz, who is highly rated as a potential star of the future. Fenestraz also featured at the season finale last year, after replacing Antonio Giovinazzi, who was also ruled out through injury. This weekend’s event, though, will be his first full Formula E weekend, with the Frenchman presumably aiming to gain as much experience as possible.

Gathering data for Nissan should be somewhat easier this year, given that they are supplying powertrains to the championship’s newest side, the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team. If McLaren’s pace in pre-season testing is anything to go by, then Nissan could be in for a strong start to the season; however, Team Principal Tommaso Volpe is aware that this weekend will see every team “starting from scratch”.

“We’ve not had too much time between testing in Valencia and the first race, so we’ve been busy analyzing data from the programs we ran and making adjustments to our car. One of the most important factors this weekend will be to finally see how each team will adapt to the new technologies in the Gen3 car, as we’re all starting from scratch in that sense.

“We’re really focused and looking to implement everything we learned in Valencia for a smooth weekend with the new car and systems. It’s exciting as it will be the first time we see everybody’s true pace and how each team manages every key performance factor in the car. We’ll be aiming to start the season strongly and set ourselves on a path to grow throughout the campaign.”