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Gerry Hughes appointed permanent NextEV Formula E chief

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The NextEV NIO Formula E team has confirmed that Gérry Hughes will take over the day-to-day running of the operation on a permanent basis.

Hughes joined NextEV in December 2015 as chief race engineer, having previously worked in Formula 1 with the likes of Red Bull, Jordan and Super Aguri. Hughes also enjoyed a stint in IndyCar with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Hughes was made acting team principal of NextEV following the death of Dr. Martin Leach last November, but will now take over the role on a permanent basis.

Hughes will also become the head of NIO’s performance program, which comes following the launch of its all-electric EP9 hypercar in December.

“Taking on the role of project lead for both the Formula E team and EP9 supercar programs will include new challenges for me, but they are challenges that my team and I relish,” Hughes said.

“I must thank everyone at NIO for their support and confidence in me during this transitional period. I am extremely honored that William Li and Lihong Qin have given me this opportunity and I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that both programs are a success going forwards.”

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”