NIO choose Filippi to replace Piquet Jr

Credit: Formula E

The rebranded NIO team have chosen Luca Filippi to race alongside Oliver Turvey for the 2017-18 Formula E season.

The Italian replaces the outgoing Nelson Piquet Jr who chose to join Panasonic Jaguar Racing as he believed they had better long term prospects than the Chinese team.

It will be Filippi’s first taste of racing in Formula E, and his first full time drive since 2011 where he drove in the GP2 series.

A surprise runner-up to Romain Grosjean that year, Filippi switched to IndyCar in 2013 competing in a handful of races each year.

He achieved a podium in 2015, but has struggled to repeat that feat.

The Italian said he was delighted to get the opportunity to drive at NIO, and that having tested the car in Spain he already had a ‘great feeling’ within the team.

He said, “During our first test run together in Spain I immediately had a great feeling with the car and all the people in the team.

“To join NIO for 2017/18 is a dream come true and I am very much looking forward to working with Oliver and Gerry and starting this journey with everyone in the NIO Formula E team.”

The team also unveiled their 2017-18 car, the NextEV NIO 003, which they hope will take them back to the promise shown in Piquet’s title winning season in season one.