Tom Dillmann says that NIO is working around the clock to try and turn around its fortunes after a poor start to the ABB FIA Formula E Championship season.
Dillmann joined the team in September and is yet to score a point, while his teammate Oliver Turvey has harnessed just an eighth and ninth-placed finish at the Santiago and Hong Kong E-Prixs respectively.
“Keep working on the systems, and trying to tweak the setup is the only thing we can do at the moment,” Dillmann told e-racing365.
“In the [post-race] Mexico test we were not super fast either, we were even further away compared to qualifying.
“For qualifying there we made a good step with both cars compared to the previous races, with a 10th and 13th which was good, but then in the race itself we struggled again.
“It’s tough, we are a bit behind and it is difficult to out-develop the others.
“We are always improving, actually we made a big step since the first weekend, but everybody improves. When you are a bit behind it is very hard to catch up.”
Dillmann stated that the team will not write off Season Five to focus on development work for next season.
“It’s not like we need to completely focus on Season Six and not on Five, you know, it’s not like F1 where you hear that a team has stopped developing the car [and is focusing its efforts on the following year],” he explained.
“It’s not like that in FE, everything we are learning on the software now, it will go well maybe to season, seven, eight, it is constant improvement and the team is working very hard on everything we do to improve things.”
Turvey Partnership is Positive
Dillmann is happy with the team dynamic he has forged with NIO partner Oliver Turvey as they often explore different technical and set-up areas of the NIO Sport 004.
“We work well with Oliver and I think the team can see that we both have good ideas on trying to improve things for the whole direction,” said Dillmann.
“I think over the summer NIO tested many drivers which was a loss in terms of car development, because as a driver [in that situation] it is difficult to develop the car at the same time.
“When I did the test, basically I would try to beat the others to get the drive and no-one really focussed solely on car development.
“I think this summer will be different as the team is looking to the long-term, which is what is needed.”
Dilmann also revealed that he and Turvey largely have different approaches during the running of an E-Prix.
“Oliver tends to go more conventional so he kind of uses more the things they have learnt from the previous years,” he said.
Working with experienced engineer Nigel Clyde, Dillmann says that he often has an eye on the longer-term picture and exploring different possibilities.
“I probably try more things with Nigel and sometimes I go a bit extreme on something, to try to just develop the car and try to catch up.
“Maybe with this I don’t always have the best thing possible in the car, but if we make steps and you know sometimes I find something that is really good, and it helps me.”