NIO 333 seeks new Formula E driver after Blomqvist split - The Race
Formula E

NIO 333 seeks new Formula E driver after Blomqvist split

Nov 11 2021
By Sam Smith

The NIO 333 Formula E team is set to choose a new driver to replace Tom Blomqvist who will not to race for it in 2022.

Blomqvist scored six points last season compared to team-mate Oliver Turvey’s 13 but outperformed Turvey in qualifying and finished the season with a lauded performance that earned a point in Berlin.

However, The Race understands that Blomqvist is set to concentrate on other roles in 2022 and will not line up with Turvey next season for a second campaign.

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The move, should it be confirmed, will be seen as something of a surprise after Blomqvist proved to be Turvey’s strongest partner at the team since inaugural Formula E champion Nelson Piquet Jr in 2016/17 season.

Blomqvist and NIO 333 initially discussed a contract extension, but this was ultimately not forthcoming after several weeks of negotiations.

The British driver is now set to major on endurance racing, as the discipline is set for a 2023 boom with multiple manufacturers getting set to enter under a new global set of regulations in the Hypercar and LMDh categories covering both the World Endurance Championship and IMSA.

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Blomqvist impressed in his first full WEC LMP2 season with the JOTA team, with which he is likely to race again in 2022.

The Race understands that among the current names in the frame to replace Blomqvist are Harry Tincknell, Louis Deletraz, Dan Ticktum, Jack Aitken and Norman Nato.

Tincknell has previously tested for the team, then known simply as NIO, at the 2018 Marrakesh rookie test and was in line for a potential role there until its then management team imploded.

2017/2018 Fia Formula E Championship.

The 30-year-old, who currently races for the Multimatic-run Mazda IMSA operation, has also tested for Jaguar’s FE team.

He also acted as official reserve driver at several Formula E races last season for the Audi team.

Tincknell is understood to be in advanced discussions with several sportscar manufacturers for a 2022 seat and is managed by Audi’s Allan McNish.

Deletraz is yet to drive a Formula E car but was present at the pre-season Valencia test last year.

The Formula 2 race winner was also known to be close to a drive for the planned Valencia test last April which was ultimately canned to allow a double-header race to take place instead.

He has been racing for the WRT LMP2 team this season and was crowned European Le Mans Series champion last month.

Ticktum is also believed to be in contention for a drive after discussions with the Dragon Penske team came to nothing recently.

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The F2 race winner is looking for a new challenge in 2022 following two seasons in the championship racing with DAMS and Carlin.

An outside possibility for NIO 333 is the last winner of a Formula E race, Nato.

He was replaced by Lucas di Grassi at Venturi immediately after winning the Berlin E-Prix in August.

Nato told The Race last month that he is in discussions with a team about a drive but that he is mostly prioritising his endurance racing exploits for the foreseeable future.

Jack Aitken is known to be eyeing a possible move to Formula E after racing predominantly in GT3 racing in a Lamborghini this season, a campaign that was interrupted when he was injured in a crash at Eau Rouge during the 24 Hours of Spa in July.

NIO 333 continued its preparations for the 2022 season at Mallory Park this week, conducting a filming day ahead of the Valencia test in two weeks’ time. Turvey conducted this run solo.

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