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.
“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.”
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.