Before the first official pre-season test gets underway at Donington Park in the UK, NEXTEV announced its driver line-up and presented the new livery for the 2016/17 season.
The team revealed that Nelson Piquet Jr and Oliver Turvey will stay with the team. Both drivers extended their relationship on a multi-season agreement. “I am happy to be continuing to race with the team that I won the world championship with, and we are looking forward to being able to fight for victories again next season. With NextEV fully committed to the Formula E programme, I believe that the team has a very strong long-term future”, said Piquet Jr.
It was at the season finale in the series’ maiden year that Turvey made his first appearance for the squad, impressing on his Formula E debut with two points finishes on the narrow Battersea street circuit. He subsequently joined Piquet Jr for a full season in 2015/16. Now, Turvey is also excited to continue his journey with the team. “I learnt a lot in my first full season and have taken this experience into the summer testing to work with the team on developing the new car. The team and I have similarly high ambitions for the season ahead and we will work hard together to achieve them”, explained Turvey.
Adding further strength to the outfit, the NextEV Formula E team has appointed a number of new members this season. Gerry Hughes remains Chief Race Engineer and is joined by Paul Fickers as Chief Technical Officer (who was previously Head of Vehicle Testing at Fiat Group Automobiles and has held senior positions at Ferrari and Maserati), and Barry Mortimer as Team Manager (who joins from Team Aguri). A carefully selected line-up of experienced engineers, technicians, mechanics and support staff also join the team, with some familiar faces from the first two seasons remaining. Reflecting NextEV’s global set-up, the Formula E team comprises members from the UK, China, Brazil, Italy, France and Germany.
The 2016/17 challenger will continue to run the popular teal and grey colour scheme in a fresh design for the upcoming season, which also features flashes of the national flags of the respective drivers. The NextEV Formula E Team’s new 2016/17 car has successfully completed 14 full days of private testing at the tight and twisty Calafat Circuit in Spain. Testing has focused on the development of the all-new NextEV 700R powertrain and set-up programmes for the season’s challenging street circuits, with the development car in the hands of Piquet Jr, Turvey and Ben Hanley.
Following this week’s official test, the NextEV Formula E team will return to Donington Park for the second, and final, official pre-season test on 5-7 September 2016. The 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship will get underway on 9 October 2016, with the series’ first visit to Hong Kong.