Hong Kong Formula E 2017 Driver Interviews

December 2, 2017

More Chaos met up with Hong Kong racing driver, Dan Wells, to take a tour of the pit lane at the 2017 Formula E Hong Kong race, and catch up with some of the drivers. Dan introduced us to some of his peers, and asked them their thoughts on the race, their cars, and of course, what they thought of Hong Kong.

 

Watch the full interview here:

Videography & editing credits: Sean Peloso

 

 

Interview with Edoardo “Edo” Mortara (Venturi Formula E Team)

 

Dan:

So Edo, thanks very much for joining us and welcome to Hong Kong for the first round of season 4 of the FIA Formula E Championship. So tell me, you’ve done Formula 3, GTM, this is your first time in Formula E, what brought Formula E to your attention, what’s the championship about for you?

 

Edo:

Well, it’s a big opportunity as a racing driver. Formula E’s a fast growing championship, it’s a little bit the place to be at the moment, and I had a chance to make some poles over this summer and to actually test the Formula E car, and I think it might actually be ok, you know some pre- season victory, no it’s very cool, I’m very happy very happy to be here, it’s going to be for sure a very challenging year for me, many things to learn, but, yep, looking forward to it.

 

Dan:

So obviously you have a bit of a reputation when it comes to street circuits, and obviously Macau comes to mind, so do you think you’re going to be able to transform that sort of form, let’s say, to Formula E?

 

Edo:

I really hope so. In the past I tend to sort of repeat or to be a little bit more competitive on street circuits and I hope it’s going to be the case in Formula E Championship, and you pretty much have all street circuits in the Formula E class, so I hope it’s going to be alright.

 

Dan:

So what is it about driving on street circuits compared to an open track that you have to do differently as opposed to on a more traditional open circuit?

 

Edo:

Well I mean you have to obviously pay more attention to any kind of mistakes you can do, if you do a mistake you might end up hitting the wall. You need to find the right balance between how much risk you are usually taking. If you take big risk you have high chances to crash the car, but if you don’t take so many, let’s say, then you’re not competitive, and I find it really interesting. You obviously have to be really precise to go as close as you can to the wall, and this is normally what is making the difference or not.

 

Dan:

So with the Formula E cars there’s a lot of difference with the back end of the cars, obviously the power train, the gear box, what are your expectations going into this season, for you, your teammates, as whole? What do you think you’re going to be up against?

 

Edo:

I’ve got no idea, no clue, to be honest, we had some difficult testing in Valencia, since then the team has worked around the clock to solve our issues but we couldn’t really tell where we were. So this first race weekend in Hong Kong will tell us a little bit if we are ready or not. I hope it’s going to be the case that we have a really good season, otherwise we’ll work even harder to be the best.

 

Dan:

So what do you think about Hong Kong? You’ve been here before obviously on your travels to Macau. Have you ever spent much time here? What’s your impression so far?

 

Edo:

I’ve been coming to Macau, you know, for so many years as and obviously if you go to Macau you go through Hong Kong and I’ve been here more than a couple of times actually. I like the city, I like the atmosphere, very friendly people. It can be quite busy, quite a lot of traffic, but it’s a fun and cool city.

 

Dan:

Well welcome and thank you very much for talking with us, and best of luck for this weekend with your debut.

 

Interview with Alex Lynn (DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team)

 

Dan:

So Alex, welcome to Hong Kong, and welcome to season 4 of the FIA Formula E Championship, so what are your thoughts on the first event?

 

Alex:

I think as a team we’re pretty excited to be honest, second year in a row for Hong Kong to host the first E-prix of the season. Last year the DS Virgin Team were on for a  fantastic result, leading up to the pit stop in the end we didn’t actually quite make it out to of the pit stop, but in terms of coming here with expectations, I think we expect to hopefully fight the front.

 

Dan:

So what are your thoughts on Hong Kong so far, you’ve visited here before or is this your first time?

 

Alex:

So the only time I’ve been here before was in transit to Macau, obviously for the Macau grand prix, so I’ve spent a couple of days here but not really taken in many sights, so this week’s been my first opportunity to actually take in the city itself, and yeah, I’m enjoying it,

 

Dan:

Well obviously you came to Formula E last year - you took pole on your debut. What are your expectations, what are you planning to achieve?

 

Alex:

So obviously we go in with a bit of a blank sheet paper, we don’t really know where we’re going to stand until, to be honest, the lights go out on Saturday. We know who we think’s going to be good. You’ve obviously got your Audis, Renaults, Mahindras, really a very strong team, but it’s out aim to fight those guys. The main attraction to Formula E is, it’s not like any other racing series where you know sort of who’s where; because of the format it’s a bit unpredictable, you don’t really know what’s going to happen, even though we think, for example, that is the fastest car, I’ll still be surprised if they’re on pole, because it’s not easy to deliver the performance in this championship.

 

Dan:

I think that’s something which a lot of fans are excited about, the fact that you literally don’t know until the final point. So how do you find, you’re always on street tracks obviously, what do you find given that you’ve driven in the simulator I guess, what do you think about the Hong Kong circuit?

 

Alex:

The Hong Kong circuit, I think, is one of the tightest or twistiest that we have all season. What’s cool about is it’s one of the true street tracks, nothing change, nothing can resurface for this event, it’s just as the roads are on a normal commuting day for commuters of the city, so from our side, you know, we get it as it comes, and that for us I think is the drive is more exciting - excited about, as you know, you don’t change anything, just put some curbs down and some walls and just go racing.

 

Dan:

We wish you the best of luck for this weekend, also for the season, and we look forward to seeing where you strung on Saturday’s race.

 

Interview with Oliver Turvey (NIO Formula E Team)

 

Dan:

So Oliver, thanks for joining me here in Hong Kong for the first race of Formula E for season 4. So you have a host of experience, a wealth of experience in McLaren in Formula One, also with sports cars and the single seaters, how do you find Formula E car in comparison with that?

 

Oliver:

I think it’s a really exciting Formula to be involved in. I joined Form E at the end of season 1 in London with Nio. I’ve been in the Nio team now for the last 2 seasons. So I drew my third year with the team, I’m really proud to be racing for them, and I think it’s a fantastic championship, we’ve seen the growth of Formula E over the last couple of years, and certainly, you know the level of manufacture interest in the championship’s really impressive, the level of drivers seem really competitive so I’m really proud be part of the series, and you know, it’s great to be here in Hong Kong for the first round. I think last year was great race, a great spectacle, a great location really here in the centre of Hong Kong, so it’s another great place to start the season.

 

Dan:

So largely you’ve won two on the grid, obviously in qualifying the race didn’t go so well but because the teams are always developing their packages in order to be at the front, how do you feel you’ve improved over the winter, what’s the team been working on, and what are your expectations for this weekend?

 

Oliver:

Yeah, last year was a great start for us at the weekend, with qualifying having front row lock out, so the race was a bit more challenging for us, but I think we have been working hard on that over the winter, and our testing has been pretty good, the team have put a lot of effort into the new car for season 4, and made some changes so, yes, certainly, we went to Valencia, knowing we had a quick car, but, you know, obviously wanted to see where you are with the competition, and to end the quickest on day 1 and day 3 was a nice feeling, gave us a lot of confidence, and yeah I think we know we have a quick car, we need to see how we fair in the race, you know, with the energy and management in the races - a little bit different, but you know, I think we made some good steps there.

 

Dan:

Tell me, the cars themselves they look similar to last year obviously, they’re very similar to this, there are going to have been a lot of technology changes throughout the winter, what exactly will the teams have been working on between season 3?

 

Oliver:

On the outside it might look the same, but obviously on the inside we made some changes to the power train, also we made some changes in terms of how the power train operates, but I think those steps are what everyone’s trying to improve, so that’s the beauty of Formula E, it’s really pushing the technology of electric cars and electric power trains. The competition is going to be very high; we know from last season how competitive the field is, but I’m sure we’ve improved a lot since last year, so I’m really excited to see where we are this weekend.

 

Dan:

You’ve obviously learnt a lot from driving these cars, and there’s a very particular way of driving an electric car, [which] is in comparison to a Formula 1 car, or anything a little bit more professional, but what do you think you’re expectations are this year, you going to be in for a bit of a tighter challenge or you slightly confident?

 

Oliver:

I’m always feeling confident, I think it’s going to be, you know how competitive it is, I think it’s going to be tough, but no I’m feeling confident in myself, and feeling with the car was good in testing, so I think we have to see where we are in this race weekend, I think we can challenge for the podium, so that’s the aim, and we’ll see how it goes from there.

 

Dan:

Fantastic, well we wish you all the best and good luck for the race weekend.

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