The Nio Formula E team announced today that reserve driver Ma Qing Hua will replace Luca Filippi for the upcoming Paris E-Prix.
Filippi started his rookie campaign promisingly this season, scoring a point on his debut in Hong Kong. However, the Italian has struggled thereafter; failing to score any further points and being routinely outperformed by teammate Oliver Turvey.
Ma returns to the series after an abortive three-race stint with Techeetah last season, having made his debut in 2016 for the team under its former guise as Team Aguri. His best result was 11th at the 2016 London ePrix.
Techeetah team principal Mark Preston admitted during season three that Ma had struggled to adapt from touring cars to the unique demands of Formula E, and the Shanghainese driver was duly replaced by Esteban Gutierrez.
Ma was retained as reserve driver, jumping ship to the same role at Nio for this season. His duties for the Chinese squad thus far have mainly been restricted to the driver-in-the-loop simulator, as well as hosting a series of technical videos produced for Nio’s social media pages.
“First of all, I am really happy and honoured to be back in the cockpit racing for NIO Formula E Team.” Said a delighted Ma. “Thank you to NIO for this opportunity.”
“I am really looking forward to racing again, against some of the top drivers in the world. I will do my best to achieve the best result I can and I will see you all in Paris.”
Team Principal Gerry Hughes stated: “The NIO Formula E Team is very happy to give Ma Qing Hua the opportunity to drive the NIO 003 at the Paris E-Prix. We look forward to welcoming him back into the paddock at the forthcoming event.”
It is unclear at this time whether Ma has been signed for the remainder of the season or if Filippi will return to drive for the team in Berlin, Zurich and New York.