Ma to miss Berlin FE races due to travel restrictions

NIO 333 driver Ma Qinghua will miss the final six races of the 2019-20 Formula E season due to travel limitations that have resulted from the coronavirus pandemic.

Ma to miss Berlin FE races due to travel restrictions

Although the team has previously stated its intention to always run a Chinese driver, Ma and members of the Lisheng Racing-owned team based in Shanghai will be unable to attend the three double-header events at the Tempelhof Airport in Berlin.

The country's capital city of Beijing is currently battling a fresh outbreak of the virus, leading to wider domestic and international flight restrictions.

Ma said: "Unfortunately, I am not going to Berlin this year, having raced there during the 2015-16 season.

"It is quite difficult to travel and race abroad at present, as this would expose us to more COVID-19 risks.

"The team and I had in-depth discussion about this, and considering the current situation of the pandemic, this decision was made to ensure the best possible preparation for the team."

Ma - who is currently last in the FE standings - is expected to continue at the team for the following 2020-21 season, which features the return of the Sanya E-Prix in China.

Of the five races held so far this season, Ma crashed out of the Mexico City E-Prix and finished last on the road in both Diriyah events and in the most recent Marrakech race.

Vincent Wang, the team CEO, added: "Due to the number of restrictions, Ma and the Shanghai team members, will be unable to attend the race.

"It is quite unfortunate, but we will continue to assist remotely.

"Ma will also be present during the live event with our fans as well as providing support to the team on-site.

"The management team is currently selecting the replacement for Ma, and an announcement will be made imminently."

It is expected that former Audi driver Daniel Abt, who was effectively sacked by the team when he had a sim racer take his place in the FE Race at Home Challenge Esports series, will deputise for Ma.

NIO 333 teammate Oliver Turvey is 21st in the points, notably having progressed through to the superpole qualifying shootout in Santiago.

shares
comments

Related video

Motorsport cannot look to the past for its future direction

Previous article

Motorsport cannot look to the past for its future direction

Next article

Williams wins Formula E Gen3 battery contract

Williams wins Formula E Gen3 battery contract
Load comments
The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21 Prime

The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21

In an eventful Formula E season, punctuated by rain and energy-conservation controversy, the 12 teams contesting the championship have endured many challenges in the opening seven races. Here's how they've got on across the first half of the season.

Formula E
May 26, 2021
How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco Prime

How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco

OPINION: It was no surprise to anybody that the laptimes achieved by Formula E cars on the full Monaco circuit were much slower than Formula 1. But perhaps the more relevant comparison was in the racing spectacle, where FE delivered in spades.

Formula E
May 12, 2021
How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover Prime

How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover

Formula E faced much criticism in the wake of its maligned Valencia event. In need of a turnaround, the series' first use of Monaco's iconic Formula 1 layout provided it with the injection of thrills required to clear the fog that had enveloped the paddock.

Formula E
May 11, 2021
Why Formula E's Valencia fiasco undermines engineering talent Prime

Why Formula E's Valencia fiasco undermines engineering talent

FIA president Jean Todt wanted more Formula E coverage in the media, and got his wish when the opening Valencia E-Prix proved farcical. Despite attempts to spin the race as teams failing to get their sums right, Formula E and its governing body cannot escape blame - especially when trying to get teams to commit long-term.

Formula E
Apr 27, 2021
How Valencia E-Prix farce gave Formula E an image problem Prime

How Valencia E-Prix farce gave Formula E an image problem

Formula E was under the microscope at Valencia, on its first visit to a permanent circuit. But after a mere nine drivers were left classified following Saturday's Valencia E-Prix, the electric championship once more faced criticism after rising energy deductions and miscalculations produced a farcical affair.

Formula E
Apr 25, 2021
How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome Prime

How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome

Another Formula E double-header, another double dose of frantic action. While the form guide remains unpredictable following fightback wins for Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne in Rome, the speed and consistency of Mercedes – both on and off the track – could have its rivals worried for what is to follow

Formula E
Apr 12, 2021
What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future Prime

What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future

Formula E's Gen3 era grid continues to take shape, after Nissan opted to commit to the series for another four years. Nissan's global chief operating officer explains why it has thrown its lot in with FE while other high-profile marques have decided to call it quits.

Formula E
Mar 24, 2021
Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start Prime

Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start

With the new Formula E season belatedly getting underway in Saudi Arabia, the championship appeared to try to make up for lost time with an overspill of action and controversy on and off the track. While some talking points could have serious repercussions, it was an explosive opener for many reasons.

Formula E
Mar 1, 2021