Daniel Abt Joins NIO 333, Replacing Ma For The Season Finale

source: Mark Bradshaw on behalf of (IFM) Independent Forecourt Magazine

NIO 333 Formula E welcomes Daniel Abt onboard for the remainder of the 2019-2020 ABB FIA Formula E season. The German driver will partner Oliver Turvey in the triple Berlin season finale.

Born and raised in a motorsport family, the 27-year-old has shown a great on-track record prior to Formula E. His impressive junior single seater career includes ADAC Formel Masters champion, German F3 runner-up, and GP3 runner-up. After spending 2 competitive seasons in GP2, Abt started his Formula E career in the series’ first ever race in Beijing. As one of only four drivers who took part in every single Formula E race to date, he collected 2 victories, 2 pole positions and 10 podium finishes with a best of 5th finish in the championship.

The Berlin Tempelhof airport circuit has a special place in Abt’s Formula E career. The home hero won the Season 4 race in a dominant fashion. Starting from pole position, the German star won the race comfortably after leading every lap while setting the fastest lap and taking home the first ever “Grand Chelem of Motorsport” in Formula E’s history.

With this in mind and faced with the current travel restrictions imposed on the team by the world pandemic, NIO 333 seized the opportunity to engage Daniel for his home e-Prix. The team made this decision with careful consideration and have inquired with key figures of the FE paddock.

Vincent Wang, NIO 333 FE Team CEO:
“When the possibility of signing Daniel for the Berlin finale was presented to me, it was an exciting prospect. As the saying goes in the eastern world, ‘a prodigal who returns is more precious than gold’, but the controversies surrounding him during the Race at Home Challenge reached quite a high level and will bring two opposite opinions. In the end, after discussing with some key figures of the paddock, we have decided to give Daniel an opportunity to return to Formula E. We welcome him with open arms into the team, We hope the home hero will redouble our efforts to finish this extraordinary season in style!”

NIO 333 talked with Daniel…

Q: Do you feel regret for your behaviour during the Race at Home challenge?
Daniel Abt: Yes, of course. It was a mistake and I took full responsibility for it. But now it is time for me to look forward and go back to what I love most: RACING. Therefore, I am very grateful for the opportunity and the trust NIO 333 is giving me.

Q: When you first got the contact from NIO 333, what were your reactions?
DA: I was extremely happy. I always loved racing and Formula E, therefore the opportunity to race in the final 6 races, my home races, and continue my record of completing in every single Formula E race is very exciting.

Q: Does this feel like an opportunity for “redemption” or maybe as some fans are saying, a “revenge”?
DA: No. For me it is not about revenge as I have no hard feelings towards anyone. I just want to do the best I can for the team and help the team to have a good finish to the season.

Q: Unlike your previous team, NIO 333 is not yet in a position to fight for championship. What will you bring into the new team with your experience?
DA: I have competed in every race in Formula E’s history and I have been working with a leading manufacturer for the last 3 years. Therefore, I have a lot of experience and input for the team. I will do everything I can to achieve results together with Oliver.

Q: Berlin is one of your strongest tracks. You won there before. How do you look forward to the final races of the season, also your home race?
DA: Berlin is a great place for me. I have great memories there and of course having a home race is always something special. I will miss the fans, but I hope the viewers at home will see some exciting races.

Q: Will we see the NIO 333 – Daniel Abt partnership continue in season 7?
DA: This is too early to say. Now the full focus is on finishing Season 6 on a high. We will see what the future brings afterwards.

Q: There is still some time before the races in Berlin. How will you do your preparation?
DA: I will go to the UK in the middle of July to test the NIO 333 FE-005 car. There are a lot of things to learn and adapt to as the team members, the way of working and all the systems are completely new to me. We will use the time as best as we can. Personally, I will prepare myself mentally and physically for the hard challenge with 6 races almost in a row.