Formula E

Dan Ticktum: “There’s no getting away from it, we’re a bit down on efficiency”

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Credit: Sam Bloxham courtesy of FIA Formula E

Dan Ticktum enjoyed an overall successful weekend at the Diriyah E-Prix, with the British driver having secured his and NIO 333 Racing‘s first point of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, following a particularly successful second race at the Riyadh Street Circuit.

Last weekend’s Diriyah double-header was arguably Ticktum’s best performance in the all-electric series to-date, with the former Formula 2 driver having been blisteringly fast from the very first session. Ticktum remarkably topped Free Practice Two on the Friday, before making it to the Semi-Finals in qualifying ahead of the first race. Whilst he lost the Semi-Final and started the race from fourth, Ticktum still showed just how strong NIO’s Gen3 powertrain is over one-lap, with the team’s car arguably being one of the best when it comes to qualifying.

NIO’s current issue, though, is the races, with Ticktum having dropped like a fly as a result of efficiency issues. He remarkably dropped ten places during the first race and finished fourteenth, highlighting where the team’s issues are. Despite having been strong in qualifying again ahead of the second race, Ticktum failed to make it into the duels after a cat ran onto the circuit in-front of him, resulting in the Briton bailing out of his final lap. He ended up qualifying eleventh but miraculously held on to the top ten to snatch the final points position, at least giving him something to deliver to the team.

Reflecting on the weekend, Ticktum recognises that the team are incredibly strong in qualifying but that they are a “bit down on efficiency”, something that is costing them dearly in the races this season already.

“Our one-lap performance has been absolutely great. In Friday’s qualifying I pretty much nailed it, so I was quite proud of that. The team have done a really great job of dialling the car in and extracting as much as we can.

“Unfortunately, Friday’s race was very tough. I got into a spiral of over-consuming and getting overtaken. Whilst on Saturday I didn’t quite nail qualifying, and our competition had also improved a little bit as well.

“The team made a few small changes overnight which helped a lot in the second race and I was able to be so much more accurate and carry more a lot more minimum speed in the corners – as there’s no getting away from it, we’re a bit down on efficiency. So for me to score a point for the team is great, and I’m very happy. Thanks a lot to the team, a massive well done to them.”

“The car has been understeering quite a lot” – Sérgio Sette Câmara

On the other side of the NIO garage and it was a “very complicated” weekend for Sérgio Sette Câmara, who disappointed in Diriyah. The Brazilian driver who is usually a name to keep an eye on come qualifying failed to make it into the duels ahead of either race, summing up his weekend.

Despite having qualified in eleventh for Race One, he started fourteenth following a three-place grid penalty, after blocking Kelvin van der Linde. Sette Câmara also struggled for energy efficiency and finished the first race in fifteenth, whilst in the second he finished even lower in seventeenth.

Overall it was a frustrating weekend for the Brazilian, who admitted that a “big setup change” ahead of the second race actually resulted in the car’s performance going in the “opposite direction”, suggesting that perhaps Ticktum is currently the more comfortable of the two NIO drivers.

“It’s been a very complicated race weekend for me. We tried doing a big setup change on Saturday to see if I can get some confidence on the braking, which is the area where I’ve been struggling this weekend, but unfortunately it went the opposite direction. The car has been understeering quite a lot, and I’ve had to slow the car in the corners and can’t carry good speed so it’s just really inefficient.

“In a few days we’ll start working again towards India. I need to keep improving and work on how to drive this new Gen3 car. I want to thank the team for all their efforts, they’re giving me a lot of support, and we’ll get there eventually.”

Credit: Simon Galloway courtesy of FIA Formula E
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