It was anticipated, but it took some time until Ho-Pin Tung showed up for one of the Formula E pre-season tests. However, despite limited mileage, the Chinese driver is lucky enough to entertain spectators on familiar ground in Beijing during the inaugural event of the electric racing series. He will be partnering Nelson Piquet jr. at Team China Racing.
The 31-year-old Dutch born Chinese driver has great experience in different types of categories. He tasted the Williams, BMW and Renault Formula 1 cars, raced in A1GP and Superleague Formula and currently completes the calendar of the Asian Le Mans Series and the Asian Carrera Cup.
In comparison with many colleagues on the Formula E grid, Tung has already shown interest in e-mobility years ago. He test drove the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle developed by Delft University of Technology in 2010. Tung believes that Formula E has great potential.
“I think Formula E might well be the future of racing. Sustainability and environmental responsibility is something that is very high on the agenda for racing but also in daily life and I think this is a great initiative,” Tung said after he drove the Formula E development car in April. He was one of the lucky few who could take the 200kW electric race car out for a spin in such an early stage.
Despite driving the car before, it didn’t meant that it was an advantage. “That day in April cannot be compared with our test day here at Donington Park as we are now going more into detail regarding the setup and figuring out how we can optimise energy efficiency,” Tung explained ElectricAutosport.com while looking at a laptop displaying graphs and numbers. He wasn’t able to show his full potential. “We’re doing as much mileage as we can to gather data. For example these special simulation tests of 12 laps are not very important to us today. The last time I went out with only 60% battery power, because we ran out of time to fully charge the batteries. Anyway, I’m confident in our own test schedule.”
Tung was happy to be in the car again, but couldn’t confirm he’ll be driving a full season. “I’ll do a few races at least,” he said. Nothing can be confirmed as his 2015 race schedule isn’t known. And he probably will not be the only one on the grid with a double agenda.