In the run up to the return of Formula E, Last-Lap is looking at every team and analysing their lineup, their livery and their chances in 2021.

We start with the NIO 333 Team who finished in 12th in Season 6.

NIO had the unfortunate pleasure of becoming the first team in Formula E history to not score points in Season 6, despite the tenacity of the highly skilled Oliver Turvey and a pumped up Daniel Abt in Berlin.

Going into the new year they have clear goals. Points and growth.

They have a new driver signing (a very good one) for Season 7 and have had a lot of stability and commitment behind the scenes which should hopefully stand them in good stead to work on their car and learn more for the final two Gen2 seasons.

The Lineup

Oliver Turvey is staying at NIO for a seventh season, his skill is in no doubt scoring the teams only podium since Nelson Piquet’s championship win in Season 1.

Ask anyone about underrated drivers on the FE grid and Turvey is way up there in the conversation. Almost to the point where he is regarded as so underrated that he becomes “rated”.

He has stuck with the team through their hardship and deserves strong results for a driver of his calibre. He has dragged that car up to places it shouldn’t be so when the car should be there, Turvey is, as always, one to watch.

He said: “I am delighted to be continuing in Formula E for Season 7 with NIO 333 Formula E Team. Having raced for the team in every season since the championship’s inception it is great to be able to continue our journey together. It’s a really exciting time for the championship this season as it becomes an official FIA World Championship. I am proud to be racing in a championship that is not only competitive at the highest levels of the sport, but that promotes the use of sustainable technology in the cities that we race in around the world.”

Tom Blomqvist testing the NIO at the Valencia test © FIA Formula E

Tom Blomqvist has been called up to the vacant seat on the other side of the garage. After a so-so performance in Season 3 over six races for Andretti, Blomqvist looked to be a talented driver unsuited to Formula E. But when James Calado was denied the final two races of Season 6 for Jaguar, an opportunity appeared for Blomqvist to jump into a current generation car with performance potential.

He didn’t need to do better than Calado with no experience to still be impressive. But he did. He was able to qualify in Superpole and run in the points for much of the race. He made the most of his position and was very unfortunate not to score points.

Tom Blomqvist © NIO 333 FE Team

This author tipped him for the Venturi drive as that was one of the most high profile vacant seats after Massa’s early departure so to see him get a drive is very well received by the Last-Lap Formula E team.

Blomqvist has a second chance now and even if it is at the back of the grid with NIO, any good or bad showing won’t go unnoticed when he is up against such a force in Turvey. Hopefully he can make the most of it.

He said of his return: “To be back in Formula E full-time is fantastic as the series has gone from strength to strength over the years and I feel very proud to be back on the grid for Season 7. It has been great to get to know the team recently and build those relationships – together we are all highly motivated for the season ahead and the positive atmosphere is brilliant to be a part of.”

The Car

It looks pretty mean.

© NIO 333 FE Team

A more carbon base rather than the predominant neon of recent years. NIO have decided that copying the gist of the Mercedes F1 liveries of recent years will hopefully allow them to copy the performance.

How will Season 7 go?

During the off season, the team has worked hard on development and has got a lot of milage under their belts. Their new powertrain has shown strong reliability according to Team Principal Christian Silk meaning that they can presumably focus more on performance upgrades as the season progresses.

The testing in Valencia was the closest it has ever been in FE history with the whole field covered by three quarters of a second so it is impossible to call which team will be on top in Santiago in January, it could be anyone.

NIO will be pleased having completed the most amount of laps of any team at 535, way higher than the lowest (390 for Jaguar).

It would be mega if NIO could have a hugely different season to Season 6 but to see them challenging for wins and podiums would be an anomaly. Maybe the odd points finish. That definitely could be more achievable now with such a strong driver lineup.

©NIO 333 FE Team
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