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Hughes: NIO Will Learn From “Nightmare” Season Five

NIO team principal says the manufacturer will learn from its disastrous 2018-19 campaign…

Photo: Formula E

NIO team principal Gerry Hughes says that the Anglo-Chinese squad will fight back from a tough 2018-19 season which he described as a “nightmare”.

The team finished at the foot of the points table after scoring on just three occasions and registering a best result of eighth place when Oliver Turvey netted four points in Santiago.

Since then, Turvey has added just three more points with a pair of top-ten finishes in Hong Kong and the first race of the New York City double-header earlier this month.

“It’s been a nightmare quite frankly but first and foremost we have and will continue to analyze the problems we have had this year to understand if they are solvable within the regulations and homologation,” Hughes told e-racing365.

“It has been a process of learning and understanding what the issues are and continual strides to try and negate those problems whilst you continue to try and develop the car.

“Most of that development is software data so it has been a challenging season.”

Despite the poor season, which saw NIO register the lowest points score by a team since the championship’s inception in 2014, Hughes says that it will learn from its struggles.

“We are richer for the experience that we have had and we’ve got to take that forward into Season Six which we have started track testing for,” he said.

“I try and look at things positively. It is easy to be negative and for people from the outside to look in and say ‘you need to make changes wholesale’.

“At the end of the day the analysis and the technical approach that you have to take to solve these issues are crucial and they have to be resolved.”

All-New Powertrain Hits Track

As first reported by e-racing365 last month, NIO has already tested its pre-homologation Season Six powertrain.

Tom Dillmann put the first serious miles on the new car during a two-day test in Spain as the team launches a bid to recover from its difficult Season Five campaign.

“Whilst it has been challenging this season it hasn’t necessarily changed our philosophy in how we have designed the Season Six car or indeed how in-depth we have gone into that design,” said Hughes.

“We’ve always done a new powertrain every year and we have done that primarily because we feel we are still playing a little bit of catch-up from the woeful season two we endured.

“The new powertrain has a new gearbox, new inverter, new MGU and we will continue to improve the electro and mechanical performance, so it is an all-new back end as it also was in Season Five.”

Hughes would not comment on speculation that NIO is looking at investors in the team for its long-term future.

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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