NIO announces Luca Filippi as Piquet Jr's replacement

IndyCar podium finisher Luca Filippi has replaced Nelson Piquet Jr at the NIO Formula E team.

NIO announces Luca Filippi as Piquet Jr's replacement

Filippi will make his debut in the electric single-seater series in the 2017/18 season opener in Hong Kong, joining Oliver Turvey in the rebranded former NextEV operation.

Piquet was due to stay at NIO for the coming season but a performance clause allowed him to exit the team for Jaguar.

That has handed 32-year-old Filippi his first full-time drive since the 2011 GP2 season, when he was runner-up to now-F1 driver Romain Grosjean.

Filippi spent the first half of 2017 racing a Lamborghini Huracan in the Endurance half of the Blancpain GT Series, but the entry was uncompetitive in Filippi’s three events – Monza, Paul Ricard and the Spa 24 Hours.

He has already tested with the team and said he was “extremely excited to become a part” of FE.

“During our first test run together in Spain I immediately had a great feeling with the car and all the people in the team,” said Filippi.

“To join NIO for 2017/18 is a dream come true and I am very much looking forward to working with Oliver and Gerry [Hughes, team principal] and starting this journey with everyone in the NIO Formula E team.”

Filippi’s surprise second-place finish in the 2011 GP2 championship came after a mid-season switch to Scuderia Coloni, and he also won on the first of three race outings for the team during an otherwise race-free 2012.

A race-winning International GT Open campaign followed in 2013, the year he made his IndyCar debut with Bryan Herta Autosport.

He was a sporadic addition to the IndyCar grid over the next three seasons, earning a best finish of second at Toronto driving for CFH Racing in 2015.

Filippi’s announcement came alongside the unveiling of the team’s 2017/18 challenger, the NextEV NIO 003.

 

 

2017/18 NIO Formula E team car
2017/18 NIO Formula E team car

Photo by: NextEV

2017/18 Formula E test line-up:

Team

Drivers

Renault e.dams

 Sebastien Buemi

 Nico Prost

Faraday Future Dragon Racing

 Jerome d'Ambrosio

 Neel Jani

DS Virgin Racing

 Sam Bird

 Alex Lynn

Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler

 Lucas di Grassi

 Daniel Abt

Techeetah

 Jean-Eric Vergne

 Andre Lotterer

Andretti

 Antonio Felix da Costa

 Tom Blomqvist

 Alexander Sims

Mahindra

 Nick Heidfeld

 Felix Rosenqvist

 Dani Juncadella

NIO

 Oliver Turvey

 Luca Filippi

Jaguar

 Mitch Evans

 Nelson Piquet Jr

Venturi

 Maro Engel

 James Rossiter

 Edoardo Mortara

 Michael Benyahia

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