Exclusive Interview: Tom Dillmann
The man who took by surprise Formula E in New York.
Last October the Formula E family gathered at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Spain, for the official pre-season testing with the presence for of all eleven teams and the big star of the upcoming season, the exquisitely designed Gen 2 car.
After three days of testing and a 45-minute race simulation there was a sweet taste left in the air of we are about to witness once the all-electric series begins its fifth season at the city capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, next December 15.
Until then, each team will have plenty of time to continue to work on the development of the second generation car, which sets the end of the car swapping during races.
Season 5 will have new former Formula 1 figures, among the team´s drivers lineups. That being the case of Felipe Massa, Stoffel Vandoorne and Pascal Wehrlein.
As Formula E gets even more competitive each year, it's not a surprise to see talented drivers such as Tom Dillmann (29) having the opportunity to return to the series.
The French driver made his debut in the series with the Venturi Formula E Team at the Paris E-Prix during season three.
Despite the fact of not finding a permanent seat for season four, he came back to drive for Venturi at the Berlin E-Prix, as well as at the season finale in New York City, replacing in both occasions Edoardo Mortara, off due to DTM commitments.
Dillmann impressed with his performance, finishing fourth on Saturday at the NYC E-Prix, suddenly he was the center of the attentions. One team, in particular, went further.
It was the NIO Formula E Team which choose the French driver as the new teammate of Oliver Turvey for the awaited season five.
"We were very pleased that Tom was available, we´re very pleased with him as an individual, coming into the team, working well with the engineers. He´s a very clever guy, articulate, bright and he´s quick, so it makes it easy.
He has had some time in the series before with Venturi, which always helps and that´s what put him on our radar, now I´m very happy he´s able to join the team, going to season five I feel a lot more confident with our driver´s pairing based with the experiences from last year," said Gerry Hughes, Head of NIO Performance Programme & NIO Formula E Team Principal.
Also, I had the chance to interview Tom Dillmann on a rainy afternoon at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, these are his comments on the new journey in Formula E.
Preparing for the race simulation
"It feels good to be at NIO, it´s a very professional, very organized team, really good, talented people with a lot of experience. It´s nice to be working in such an environment. I like it here."
Asked about his expectations to the first race, Dillmann commented:
"All I can say right now is that the car feels good. I have a good feeling with the people working here, the engineers, my mechanics, everyone.
In terms of speed, it´s hard to say, even here in Valencia, this is not a Formula E track, so there´s no point judging.
Obviously, it is always better to be in the front, here in Valencia we are in the middle, but it doesn´t mean much.
We will see in the first quali, the first race, where we are."
Testing - Valencia
Last but not least, asked if there was an E-Prix he was particularly longing to race in, he said:
"Paris of course but I already did it, Bern because it´s like one hour from where I´m born, the Rome track looked really cool last year.
It´s always good fun to go to a new race, a street race, there are not many tracks which are staying the same, Monaco, Berlin, Rome and that´s it, all the other ones are new.
Looking forward to all of that, many new countries and new cities."