Luca Filippi will not race for the NIO Formula E Team in the upcoming 2018-19 season of the all-electric championship.
The Italian journeyman racer joined the team’s line-up for the 2017-18 season alongside incumbent driver Oliver Turvey. He started promisingly by scoring a point in his debut race when he finished tenth at the season-opening Hong Kong ePrix, but never looked close to marching that form over the remainder of the season.
He was sidelined for the Paris ePrix in place of reserve driver Ma Qing Hua, but the Chinese driver performed no better in his one-off outing for the team and Filippi was reinstated for the final four races.
By season’s end, his tally of one point to Turvey’s 46 – which included a fine podium finish for the Englishman at the Mexico City ePrix – meant that the writing was on the wall for Filippi, despite him apparently having a contract in place for the forthcoming season.
The British-based team today released a statement confirming it had parted ways with the 33-year-old.
“Firstly I would like to take this opportunity to thank Luca for his commitment to the role of race driver with the NIO Formula E Team, something that he undertook with immense dedication and pride, in what proved to be the most competitive season in the championship’s history,” said NIO team principal Gerry Hughes.
“Whilst it was a challenging inaugural season for Luca, he remained focused and energised and this has certainly helped the team with the initial development of the NIO 004 car over the summer months, whilst Oliver has continued to recover from his hand injury sustained in the penultimate race of season four in New York.
“However, with season five firmly in our sights and having bold ambitions as NIO’s racing operation, we have decided to make changes to our race driver line-up and as a result we have to say goodbye and good luck to Luca.”
The team confirmed it would make further announcements confirming its 2018-19 driving line-up “in due course”. Turvey was linked to a possible switch to the Nissan e.dams team before it recently announced Alexander Albon and Sébastien Buemi would be its drivers.
|2018-19 FIA Formula E Championship – Provisional Entry List (to-date)|
||Sébastien Buemi||Alexander Albon|
|Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler
||Lucas di Grassi||Daniel Abt|
|Envision Virgin Racing||Sam Bird||TBA|
|DS Techeetah||Jean-Éric Vergne||André Lotterer|
|Panasonic Jaguar Racing
||Mitch Evans||Nelson Piquet Jr.|
|NIO Formula E Team
|Venturi Formula E Team
||Felipe Massa||Edoardo Mortara|
|BMW i Andretti Motorsport
||António Félix da Costa||Alexander Sims|
Images via FIA Formula E Championship
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