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Ma to Make Formula E Return with NIO 333

Ma Qing Hua to make Formula E return at new-look NIO 333 squad…

Photo: Formula E

Ma Qing Hua will make his return to the ABB FIA Formula E Championship this season as Oliver Turvey’s teammate at the newly-named NIO 333 team.

The Chinese driver, who currently races in FIA WTCR in an Alfa Romeo, has been allocated the seat by the BIE entity, the new owner of the NIO operation.

E-racing365 understands that NIO 333 will announce Ma and Turvey on Tuesday at Valencia and that Ma will race with No. 33 for the 2019-20 season, the same number he used at Techeetah in the 2016-17 campaign.

Turvey is set to be allocated the No. 3 car in reference to the team’s new name which alludes to a precise phrase in the Shanghai dialect which spells the number three as ‘sai’.

Ma has previously raced for Team Aguri, Techeetah and NIO and scored a best finishing position of 11th in the first of two races at Battersea, London, in 2016.

He made his most recent appearance in Formula E at the 2018 New York City E-Prix meeting when he deputized for Turvey, who broke his hand in a practice accident.

The future of Tom Dillmann in Formula E is presently not known but e-racing365 understands that he is likely to be in Valencia next week and could still test for the new-look team.

New Tech Package for NIO 333

NIO has reorganized its Season Six technical package for the new campaign after ditching the planned powertrain which it briefly tested in June.

E-racing365 can reveal that the team will use Dragon motors and inverters for the new campaign after disbanding its planned package which was an evolution of its disastrous 2018-19 setup.

Initially NIO was set to use the bespoke package but this was replaced after a deal was completed to acquire hardware used by GEOX Dragon last season.

NIO is believed to have shaken down its Season Six challenger at the Bicester Heritage facility for the first time last week.

The team has seen significant staff changes over the summer with Christian Silk now expected to initially head up team principal duties, while Barry Mortimer continues to take operational control.

Mortimer worked closely with former NIO engineer Roberto Costa over the summer during the transitional period for the team.

NIO 333 could still also utilize QEV Technologies during the coming campaign according to BIE’s CEO Vincent Wang.

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

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Edward Hunter

    October 10, 2019 at 9:55 am

    Honestly, they should just give up their entry so that Hyundai or an actual manufacturer with resources and know-how can compete in FE. You don’t need to a be a genius to know that Ma, whilst a decent touring car driver, is nowhere near competitive in Formula E, and last year’s Dragon/Penske powertrain was the second worst behind Nio’s own. This team is dead already; they just don’t know it yet.

    • Avatar

      Chris

      October 11, 2019 at 3:24 pm

      I agree. He’s been good in WTCR. He’s had enough chances in FE. And the team itself should step aside for Hyundai / Kia or Honda, Ford etc. Any of them.

  2. Avatar

    formulawec

    October 10, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    They could at least contracted Lopez who already knows the dragon powertrain and is far better driver than ma quin chua… but the dragon powertrain is really bad perhaps at one lap could do something but in race pace is along with nio the worst of the grid.

  3. Avatar

    ex employee nio

    October 11, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    what’s context for: Mortimer worked closely with former NIO engineer Roberto Costa over the summer during the transitional period for the team? and could you not find a photo of Ma not wearing Luca Filipi’s helmet?

    • Avatar

      Sam Smith

      October 11, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      Does that need context? Mortimer and Costa worked on prepping the cars for the new season and helping installing the new powertrain.

      And we’ll choose the pics thanks.

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