Tommaso Volpe, Team Principal of the Nissan Formula E Team, is expecting a “completely different challenge” this weekend at the Diriyah E-Prix than the team faced at the season opener in Mexico City, with the Riyadh Street Circuit being known as one of the toughest on the calendar.
Volpe will be hoping for better luck in Diriyah this weekend, with it also being the first double-header of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. Mexico City was an unfortunate weekend for the Japanese manufacturer, with Norman Nato having retired on the first lap after being hit by Robin Frijns, and with rookie Sacha Fenestraz having fallen out of the points late on following an issue.
The team’s Gen3 challenger, though, did show some “good pace”, giving Volpe the belief that they’ll score some solid points this weekend. The circuit is notoriously difficult, something which could see Fenestraz build into the weekend, given that he is a rookie.
Volpe recognises that “it’s easy to make mistakes” at the Saudi Arabian venue, putting an emphasis on precision, and smoothness.
“I feel we grew as a team following the season opener in Mexico. Norman and Sacha already have a good connection with the engineers, and the technical team is also gaining a lot of knowledge on how to run the car in qualifying and the race. We’re still learning about the power unit and energy management, but that’s the same across the grid, so we’ll look to continue developing on that side.
“Diriyah will be a completely different challenge to Mexico, with the tight walls and dirty track surface. Sectors 1 and 2 are really fast and twisty, and it’s easy to make mistakes there because of the low-grip levels, which will be a big challenge, especially with the extra power we have this year. We believe we can score points this weekend – we had good pace in Mexico as Sacha proved in qualifying, so we’ll look to find that speed again with both drivers and put ourselves in a good position to come away with a strong result.”