Nelson Piquet Jr
Even though you’re now used to racing in cities, surely this race with the iconic Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty in the background will be something special?
I’m very excited about this race. I’ve said before that what Formula E has done to bring races to some truly iconic cities is really impressive. We have raced in so many amazing cities including Paris, London, Berlin and Hong Kong, and all of these cities are really special. To now add New York to this list is amazing. It’s one of the most famous locations in the world and we are going to be racing with the amazing skyline in background, bringing racing to the city that never sleeps. I have no doubts this is going to be one of Formula E’s most important moments so far.
What are your thoughts on the track layout? Is there a section or corner that will be particularly challenging?
I haven’t yet been on the simulator, I’m doing that this week (wc 3rd July), but looking at the track map it looks interesting. Obviously we had a tricky time in Berlin as the track just didn’t suit our package this season, so we are hoping that New York suits us better.
New York is the second double-header race weekend this season, following Berlin. What do you think of this race event format? What are the positives and negatives for both you as a driver and the team?
As a driver you always want to race, so the more races Formula E can put on, the better. In Berlin the format didn’t work out well for us because we were unfortunately racing on a track that didn’t suit our car, but then it can work the other way and if New York is better for us and we have a good day on Saturday, there’s no reason why we can’t then repeat that on Sunday. The extra day gives you the chance to make improvements from the first race, so there are benefits to double-headers.
We’ve had some encouraging results, particularly in qualifying this year, so if the track suits us a bit more in Brooklyn, my aim is to be fighting for Super Pole on both days and working to convert that into results in the race. We will be aiming to come away from New York with a really strong points haul.
The Season 4 calendar was recently announced, what are your thoughts on it?
The Season 4 calendar looks fantastic, with some great new races in Santiago, Sao Paulo and Rome, as well as retaining some fantastic cities from this season. It will be great to start the championship again in Hong Kong and I am particularly excited to race around the historic streets of Rome. But getting back to New York, the track looks exciting. It seems to have a good mix of corners with hairpins, chicanes and a fast final corner, as well as a number of straights offering overtaking opportunities in the race. The T2 and T3 combination looks like the most challenging section of the track, I can’t wait to get out on track.
How do you cope with the time difference when switching from European races to a race like New York? Do you have any tips for combatting jetlag?
It depends whether you are travelling east or west, however for New York the time difference is five hours behind the UK so before travelling I will already start adapting to that time zone. When travelling it’s best to fly based on the new time zone and begin to eat meals at the correct time as in New York. On arrival I will exercise at the same times of day as usual and try to go to bed at the same time, although the jet lag in New York should make waking up for our early morning practice session a bit easier!
My aims for New York are to achieve the best possible result for the team. I will be aiming to reach Superpole and to qualify on pole position, and in the race I will be aiming to stand on the top step of the podium.
Images: NEXTEV NIO Formula E Team and Richard Washbrooke Photography
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