Buenos Aires ePrix: NextEV ‘still behind rivals’ but working hard to improve race performance

NextEV have made strides in qualifying so far this season, but are struggling to carry their performance into race results

Nelson Piquet Jr and Oliver Turvey at the 2016 Paris ePrix Photo: Glenn Dunbar/ LAT

Nelson Piquet has qualified in the top five for the first two rounds of the season, taking his maiden pole in Hong Kong with team-mate Oliver Turvey alongside him in second.

However the team struggled to maintain this performance during the race, something which they have spent the winter break striving to understand and improve.

“Formula E is a series of two-halves,” said team principal Gerry Hughes.

“You have qualifying where outright performance is the key to success and then racing, where energy and thermal management play a significant part in the final outcome.”

“On the powertrain development side of things we are still behind our main rivals in some key areas, but we will continue to accelerate our powertrain knowledge in order to apply our ‘continual improvement’ philosophy.”

The Buenos Aires ePrix will only be the second time Turvey has returned to a track in Formula E.

“I felt I got to grips with the track quickly, which is one of the faster circuits of the year, and was able to make a strong start to move forwards on the first lap. The management of the energy and temperature is crucial with the long straights,” said Turvey.

Photo Courtesy of NextEV NIO

“The most exciting part of the Buenos Aires track is the first couple of corners with a fast left-hander into a quick chicane that leads on to the main straight, so carrying speed through there is crucial. The most challenging section is braking into the first hairpin as it is bumpy and you approach it at the highest top speed of the season.”

Nelson Piquet Jr will be making his third appearance at the Buenos Aires ePrix, where he finished on the podium in 2015.

Photo courtesy of NextEV NIO

“It is a twisty track, which is something that we enjoy. There are long straights though too, which is probably not our strongest point,” said Piquet.

“Our ambition hasn’t changed from winning races and the championship and we know we need to climb up a few steps before being the best car and team out there but we’re working really hard.”

The Buenos Aires ePrix begins at 19:00 on Saturday 18th February.

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