NIO 333 have announced that Formula 2 race winner Dan Ticktum will partner fellow Brit Oliver Turvey for the 2021/22 FIA Formula E World Championship campaign.
The news comes a week after Tom Blomqvist announced he was leaving the team to race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Racing Championship with Meyer Shank Racing.
Having been released from his development driver role at the Williams Formula 1 team in August, Ticktum had previously admitted to looking at opportunities in IndyCar, DTM, and Formula E for the 2022 season. That wasn’t the first time he’d been dropped by a Formula 1 team either, with Red Bull also removing him in 2019 prior to his move to Williams.
Having been no stranger to controversy in the past, criticising current Williams F1 driver Nicholas Latifi on a Twitch stream, Ticktum admitted that his hopes of racing in Formula 1 were “pretty much gone.”
“We live in a world and our sport is very political and quite unjust, and the best drivers or most talented sometimes don’t get to the top,” he said.
“Whether that’s my fault or not, I’ve opened my mouth far too many times and said things I shouldn’t have said, but I am who I am. I sort of don’t quite fit the modern Formula 1 driver mould.”
Despite his questionable decision-making in the past which as he admitted, goes against that of a modern-day Formula 1 driver, the 22-year old Brit is a proven talent and a promising acquisition for a NIO 333 outfit that finished bottom of the teams’ table last year on just 19 points.
He’ll get his first taste of the NIO 333 001 car at the official pre-season test in Valencia on November 29th-December 2nd but will have to leave the track after the second day to travel to Saudi Arabia for the penultimate FIA Formula 2 race of the season, where he currently sits fourth in the standings – 49 points behind championship leader Oscar Piastri with just two rounds remaining.
Adam Carroll will remain the Chinese outfit’s reserve and development driver for season eight and will take over driving duties from Ticktum for the final day of testing on December 2nd.
Speaking about his Formula E switch, Ticktum said: “I am very happy to be racing with the NIO 333 Formula E team. It’s going to be quite a big challenge as I’ve not had long to prepare for the test next week, and Formula E is complicated, but it’ll be very exciting.
“There are quite a few different tools you can use as a driver but it’s a totally different experience to Formula 2, so I’m really looking forward to it, both mentally and physically.
“I’ve had a great few days with the team at Silverstone this week and hopefully we can try to make some progress next season and get further up the grid.”
NIO CEO Vincent Wang shared his delight at the signing of Ticktum after a week that’s also seen the Chinese outfit make changes to its senior management structure. Alex Hui joins the squad as team principal after a stint at the Gusto Engineering R&D firm, with Russell O’Hagan moving up to become its deputy principal.
“Let’s warmly welcome Daniel Ticktum as our newest member of the NIO 333 Formula E family,” said Wang. “His race results that impress me the most are the two victories in the Macau Grand Prix, one of the most famous races in the world.
“Though he has shouldered some difficulties during his career, I believe that his experience will pave the way to success. He is a young, bright new star who will shine on the Formula E racetrack.”
Having also recently shifted to its new headquarters in Silverstone, previously splitting its workforce across a workshop at Donington Park and an innovation centre in Oxford, Wang has said that NIO 333 are now more than prepared to earn points and get back on to the podium after a tricky couple of years.