NIO 333 reflect on their best result since Season 4

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NIO 333 reflect on their best result since Season 4

NIO 333's key players reflect on their promising fifth place in Hyderabad, as they target getting both cars into the qualifying Duels in Cape Town.

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There was plenty of celebration down at the NIO 333 garage after the inaugural Greenko Hyderabad E-Prix. Having shown great promise so far this season, Sergio Sette Camara managed to secure the best result for the team since Season 4. 

The Brazilian, who started the race in 15th on the grid, managed to navigate the trials of others up ahead in the pack and around the Indian street circuit to achieve an impressive fifth place. It was the team's best result since Oliver Turvey finished in the same position in Berlin five seasons ago. 

With the NIO outfit hoping this is a sign of things to come, Formula E sat down with Deputy Team Principal Russell O'Hagan to discuss their recent result. 

"Our target for the season, to be candid, is eighth in the Teams' standings," O'Hagan states. "I think on paper, I feel like we were definitely there. I think the performances have sometimes clearly excelled in terms of certainly qualifying. Then in the race, they probably have sometimes been a bit below that. But they're kind of averaging out at that."

NIO's Dan Ticktum has been the squad's qualifying superstar, getting through to the Duels on two out of the last four races. The Brit reached the quarter-final of the Duels in Mexico City and found himself in the semis at race one of the double header in Diriyah. 

"I would say on paper eighth is very achievable," O'Hagan continues. "The only hard thing is the only metric for that is the points at the end of the year. Where we are, and the competitiveness of the championship, those positions, like a lot of your points, are made up by a seventh and eighth, the ninth or 10th. 

TICKTUM SETTE CAMARA NIO Cape Town

"It can be one point here, four points here, two points here. And as we proved in India, and as most of the other teams have had, this year, there is that real chance to get a fourth or fifth. 

"Just because of the magnitude of the point score there all of a sudden, you can get good results in one race and score 10 points like we did. So I think it'll be interesting to see how the points swing around."

Qualifying is key

So, how will NIO ensure they keep picking up those big points hauls? Qualifying is a big focus for the team. 

"I think in qualifying, we still honestly sit there each time so far expecting or hoping for both cars to get in the duels. From that point, it gets obviously slightly tougher. But we are still kind of hopeful to get a few more top fours. A sneaky final somewhere."

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As well as Deputy Team Principal Russell O'Hagan reviewing NIO's potential and future plans, Alex Hui, the Team Principal of NIO 333, has also seen a big step forward but believes the best is yet to come. 

"I think this year is definitely a step forward in terms of team performance. As you said, we have pushed on with that pace which we saw in the first two races. But for some reason, we scored in the two races in which we didn't qualify as well. So sometimes, as everyone knows, you need a bit of luck in Formula E. 

"Last race, we scored points in P5 but heavily benefited from incidents from the cars in front. At least, we were in a position to take it. So we are not miles off. We were always there in the pack. 

"I think there's still a lot of unpolished areas in the team. We now have a much stronger understanding of where we are, where we are good and where we are not. So we know where our deficits are, and our goal is always to bring the team back to fighting the front in towards the second cycle of GEN3."

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"I think our strongest area is qualifying," Sergio Sette Camara added, fresh from his recent fifth place result. "The one lap is a bit stronger than the race, but we are in a position that if we execute everything right, and get the car balanced in the window and the driver doesn't make any mistakes, and we stay with the pack, we are still able to get results.

"We have a good enough car that we will typically lose some pace in the race but we are still able to stay more or less where we qualified. That is what it looks like.

"Getting used to the car and to a new team which is a much bigger challenge than most people realise. Those two things kind of worked against me early on, because you have to learn a new car with a group of people you’re not used to working with already, that you don't have a history with.

"So, that was a challenge but we just kept working hard and I think the results just started to show in the end. I hope it stays that way. It could be a one time thing but I really think that we have been working hard and I feel more confident in the car and hopefully we can keep that up."