NIO 333 reflects on “emotional” achievement after Ticktum's Duels progress

After scrapping hard in recent seasons, NIO 333 Racing is looking very competitive right out of the gate in this new era of the ABB Formula E World Championship.

NIO 333 Mexico City

Dan Ticktum managed his best-ever result in Formula E qualifying, lining up on the grid in fifth place for today's race after showing strong pace throughout the weekend.

The remarkable moment is one of the big headlines from the Mexico City qualifying, especially considering the team's relative struggles over the past few seasons. 

"If you looked at our season last year, I mean to be straight in the duels in the opening round is very positive," Ticktum said about the result.

READ MORE: The full quali report

"Honestly, even in pre-season testing at Valencia, the car has felt strong. I was a little bit concerned in testing, so I didn't quite put the laps together because it's a very difficult car to drive, the Gen3 in general.

"But I got a good lap together and got into the duels. It's just a shame I was paired with Jake Hughes because he was the fastest out of all of them, but overall pretty happy!"

NIO 333 Mexico City 2

Ticktum and his NIO teammate Sergio Sette Camara have shown fantastic pace over the weekend so far. So much so, Team Principal, Alex Hui, wasn't even surprised at the incredible achievement for the Anglo-Chinese squad.

"I think we looked quite strong, and everyone was happy, too," Hui stated. "Dan [Ticktum] wasn't on top of the list in FP1 and FP2, but we knew that there was some performance in the car. We knew there was the performance; we just needed to put it together.

READ MORE: DS PENSKE among early favourites to falter

"Obviously, Sergio did not get into the duels, but he had probably not put together everything and probably some traffic on track. I think both cars have the pace for the top four in their group.

"We will be emotional because last year we did one duel in the last race. So this year with Gen3, we did it in the first race. It's a good start."

It's the best result for NIO since Tom Blomqvist started the 2021 Berlin E-Prix in fifth. Mexico City is also a place NIO managed a pole position before in 2017 when ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport's Daniel Abt was excluded from the results, which handed the honour to Oliver Turvey.

The team have found a step in software before others have a handle on it at this early stage - reportedly, according to Ticktum, aiding the NIOs under braking and turn in by making lock-ups less likely.