NextEV bemoan badly timed pit-stop


NextEV TCR were left disappointed after only managing eighth and eleventh in the Hong Kong ePrix.

It was a dream qualifying for NextEV as both Nelson Piquet Jnr and Oliver Turvey put their cars on the front row.

They then held their positions off the line, with Piquet Jnr leading the race for the first seventeen laps.

Despite their strong start though both drivers ended up finishing well down the order, with Turvey only able to grab four points.

It all went wrong for Piquet Jnr after the lapped Jose Maria Lopez crashed just a few seconds ahead of him.

It distracted the Brazilian causing him to lock up and nudge the barrier, which let Sam Bird and Lucas di Grassi past.

The resulting safety car being period saw the eventual winners all pit soon after it was deployed, however Piquet Jnr pitted later on the lap it came in, causing him to plummet down the order.

While he fought back, he finished outside of the points, something he described as disappointing.

He said, “It was obviously a mixed day for us. The qualifying result was great for both Oliver and myself, but the race result is disappointing.

“The start went well and I was able to create a good gap but then I had nowhere to go to avoid Lopez – it could have happened to anyone though.

“We were all bunched up under the safety car and we simply made the pitstop on the wrong lap.

“For us, we have to concentrate on working on maximising what we can get out of the car and strategy.”

Chief Race Engineer Gerry Hughes also blamed the strategy call, saying it left the team with some work to do to analyse where they went wrong.

“Nelson’s race strategy was compromised with the delay in pitting him under the safety car, whilst Oliver lost time in the pit stop itself,” Hughes said.

“Essentially, it’s the team’s first race and whilst there are many positives to take from it we have a lot of homework ahead of Marrakech.”

While Turvey faired slightly having pitted a lap earlier than Piquet Jnr, he said he suffered with saving energy for periods of the race.

The Brit said, “NextEV have put a huge effort into the car and it felt great to nail my qualifying lap and be on the front row.

“We clearly have good pace in qualifying, which is encouraging, but we need to look at our efficiency and how we can save more energy over the race.”