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Hughes: NIO is “A Much Happier Place” in Season Four

NIO boss Gerry Hughes believes there will be an improved atmosphere with its new driver pairing of Oliver Turvey and Luca Filippi in Season Four…

NIO team principal Gerry Hughes believes his squad will have an improved atmosphere and working environment with its new driver pairing of Oliver Turvey and Luca Filippi for Season Four.

Hughes alluded to a strained relationship with outgoing driver Nelson Piquet Jr. last season. The Brazilian left the team to join Panasonic Jaguar Racing after three seasons with the Chinese entrant.

NIO chose former GP2 race winner Filippi to replace the Brazilian and partner Turvey, who is set for his third full season with the team.

“I think that both of our drivers will work well together for the good of the team, and without putting too fine a point on it, this wasn’t the case last year,” Hughes told e-racing365.

“The team is a much happier place to be compared to last year and I think we can harness this improved atmosphere and really make some good progression.

“We have a different dynamic in the team and Luca is a happy, go-lucky operator who happens to be really intelligent. Having two very bright and articulate drivers is a big bonus in this formula.”

Filippi’s signing was viewed by many to be a surprising choice but Hughes thinks that the Turvey/Filippi axis will pay dividends as the team looks to bounce back from two disappointing seasons.

“So far he has proved he warrants a seat,” said Hughes.

“It wasn’t a decision we took lightly and it may have been slightly left-field in some people’s opinion but I think he himself came out of the Valencia test as the quickest rookie driver.

“It says a lot about him that he was slightly disappointed with the Valencia days he did, but he will continue to learn and improve.

“This is a series where the driver has to be able to assimilate information quickly while maintaining energy management. The difference is that drivers are not at 100% every lap because there is so much to manage in an energy race like Formula E.”

Sam Smith is e-racing365’s Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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