Nissan’s Tommaso Volpe: McLaren ‘proving the pace’ of Japanese manufacturer’s Gen3 powertrain

The Nissan Formula E Team found themselves leaving the Diriyah E-Prix double-header with “mixed feelings”, despite rookie Sacha Fenestraz having claimed the team’s first points of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

It was an odd weekend at the Riyadh Street Circuit for Nissan, with both Fenestraz and Norman Nato having looked strong during Free Practice. Qualifying, though, was where things went wrong, as neither Nato or Fenestraz made it into the duels ahead of either race, making life extremely more difficult for the French duo.

There was clearly pace in the team’s Gen3 challenger, though, as both drivers made up several places on Friday and Saturday, with Fenestraz having gone from twelfth to eighth in the second race of the weekend. This marked both the rookie’s first points in the series and the team’s first of the season, giving them something to take into the next round in India.

Team Principal Tommaso Volpe is clearly aware, though, that more points were definitely on the cards, but that a “few mistakes” let the outfit down.

“We’ve got mixed feelings from this double-header. We came to Diriyah with some new processes, which worked really well, and we’re making progress at every race. Qualifying was a bit frustrating this weekend, we made a few mistakes but the race pace was really good for both drivers and they were able to move forwards. We’re delighted for Sacha and his first points finish today – it was a great race from him, but we know that we can achieve more.

“We had a good strategy and we felt strong as a team, and these are good signs for the rest of the season. It’s a long championship, though, so now we have to focus on the small details and continue making progress.”

Nissan’s e-4ORCE 04 clearly has both pace and potential, with the Japanese manufacturer’s customer team, the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team, having claimed a pole position and a podium in Diriyah, to continue their impressive start to the season. Volpe added that McLaren’s strong results are proof that the powertrain is capable of running at the front, giving him the belief that the factory team are “on the right path”.

“We were also really happy to see our customer team McLaren take their first pole and podium in the sport, proving the pace of the Nissan e-4ORCE 04. Congratulations to them, and we’ll continue to work hard ahead of India in two weeks’ time. There’s still a lot of work to do to reach our full potential, but we are on the right path.”