NIO 333 Racing have announced that Dan Ticktum and Sérgio Sette Câmara will continue with the team in 2024, after both drivers had their contracts extended by the Chinese outfit.
NIO made the announcement on Friday morning, which was expected given that both drivers hinted at the season nine finale in London that they would remain at the side in season 10.
It marks an attempt by the team to try and build some momentum by not changing their youthful driver line-up, following a very positive start to the Gen3 era in 2023. NIO entered the new era of the sport having been the backmarker side throughout Gen2; however, this wasn’t the case last season.
The outfit’s qualifying pace in particular was massively impressive, with Ticktum having often progressed to the duels. He was a real standout for many in his sophomore campaign, having shown significant development.
Whilst NIO’s powertrain was solid over one-lap, efficiency wasn’t their strong point, something which makes Ticktum’s seven top-10 finishes in 2023 that much more applaudable. NIO, of course, has the disadvantage of not having a customer team, meaning they gather less data than any other manufacturer on the grid.
This simply adds to how well Ticktum did in season nine to get among the points so often, with him having led the Silverstone-based team in many ways. If NIO can improve their efficiency through making changes to their software, then Ticktum will feature towards the front considerably more often.
Nevertheless, 28 points in his second season was respectable, although he arguably deserved significantly more for his efforts. He’s hopeful that the team can “build on” from season nine and look to extract more from their package, in what’ll be his third campaign in the all-electric series.
“I am now going in to my third year with the team,” said Ticktum. “Season 9 was a lot better than Season 8 for us, and we have done pretty well with the package that we have.
“At the start of GEN3 I think the pace of our car has been very strong. So, hopefully, we can build on that this year, maybe with some alternative strategies, and optimising our package even more, we can achieve some more points in Season 10.
“I think it’s going to be challenging season for us because the regulations don’t allow us to change much, however I’m looking forward to being on FE grid again with NIO 333 Racing and going some cool new venues. I think Tokyo is going to be a highlight for me and overall, I can’t wait to get back racing!”
For many, Sette Câmara disappointed in season nine, having failed to live up to the promise he offered in season eight. The Brazilian took longer than Ticktum to adjust to the Gen3 machinery, although his P5 at the Hyderabad E-Prix – which might not be returning in season 10 – was the side’s best result in 2023.
He scored points on just two occasions last season, leaving him on just 14 points come the end of the campaign. Ticktum scored exactly double the number of points that Sette Câmara achieved, something which can’t be repeated in 2024.
However, should things click for the 25-year-old in Formula E’s centurion campaign, then several duel appearances should be the target at the very least, along with more top-10 finishes. His one-lap pace wowed fans in season eight, with that being something he needs to rediscover and unlock in his second season with NIO.
Should he show what he’s knowingly capable of, then NIO retaining him will very quickly look like a smart decision. Sette Câmara openly admits that he “faced challenges” in season nine but that the team overtaking Mahindra Racing in the Constructors’ Championship on the last day of the campaign was a “testament to our team spirit”.
“Season 9 was a time of growth and learning for me, with the highlight undoubtedly being our performance in India, where we secured our best race result,” said Sette Câmara. “That moment stands as my favourite from the season, showcasing the potential we have as a team.
“While we faced challenges, including a disappointing penalty in London, we demonstrated our resilience by bouncing back and overtaking Mahindra the following day. It was a testament to our team spirit and the determination to succeed, even when faced with setbacks that felt unjust.
“In the off-season, I took the opportunity to recharge at home in Brazil before jumping right back into preparations for the upcoming season. Just a month after the finale, we were back here, putting in the work and gearing up for what lies ahead.”
Looking ahead to season 10, like Ticktum, Sette Câmara is wanting NIO to carry on from where they left off at the London E-Prix in July, with “renewed energy and determination”.
He added: “As we approach Season 10, I am filled with anticipation and excitement. Having spent a year with the NIO 333 Racing team, I have forged strong bonds with everyone and feel a sense of continuity and momentum as we carry forward the lessons and experiences from Season 9.
“I am eager to build on what we have achieved and look forward to hitting the tracks with renewed energy and determination.”