Efficiency Problems for NEXTEV denied podium finish

NEXTEV season started fantastically as they secured their first ever one-two in qualifying, but mistakes and a lack of efficiency in the race saw them throw away a great result. 

Nelson Piquet Jr who claimed pole position, held a strong lead for the opening 17 laps, until he was forced to take evasive action to avoid Jose Maria Lopez who had hit the wall.

This forced Piquet to surrender the lead to Sam Bird with Sebastien Buemi Buemi also passing the Brazilian leaving Piquet in third.

“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.

“I think looking forward to Marrakech we will qualify well and we just have to work hard to prepare for the race as a team. The whole team has been working so hard, and we are going to keep pushing,” said Piquet.

Oliver Turvey had a solid start and maintained second place until lap six when Bird and Buemi passed him, putting him into fourth place.

The Brit pitted during the safety car period on lap 21 after losing time in the previous stint being blocked by Jean-Eric Vergne.

Once all drivers had made their mandatory pitstop, he was running in fifth position. However, in the final stages of the race, Turvey dropped a further three places down the field, finishing the race in eighth place and securing four Championship points.

“NextEV has 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. We have both come away with points from this race, which is a positive start.  Now we must work on building on the points in Marrakech,” said Turvey.