NIO 333 driver and Cambridge engineering graduate Oliver Turvey reckons his education will enable him to better suit Formula E in the coming seasons as the cars become increasingly complex.
Unsure if he had enough budget to continue in single-seaters, Turvey attended the University of Cambridge between 2005 and ’08 and received a Bachelor of Engineering degree.
He specialised in aerodynamics and mechanical engineering to better relate his course to racing, later becoming the first-ever recipient of the prestigious Cambridge Blue award for motorsport.
Turvey – who won the 2006 McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award, now sponsored by Aston Martin, that helped launch his career – reckoned this background would favour him for the advent of the new Gen3 cars coming in 2022.
Aside from a power increase to 470bhp and a 120kg weight reduction, the cars will gain a front-axle regenerative braking system that will take total regen from the current 250kW limit up to a possible 600kW.
This will require far greater battery temperature management.
Turvey told Autosport that the added complexity and that the increased areas of energy management would fall in his favour.
He said: “I’ve always enjoyed the technical side. Studying engineering has given me a good background in that.
“The more complex it is, the better for me.
“Formula E is already one of the most challenging series from a driver’s point of view.
“There’s a lot of things to manage in the race, a lot of energy management really.
“Definitely with the new Gen3 rules, it’s only hopefully going to suit me more.
“As a series it suits me pretty well in that sense. Definitely, I’m looking forward to the challenge of the Gen3 cars.”
Turvey also reckoned that his engineering background increased the likelihood of him moving into a team managerial role when he decided to retire from driving.
Asked if a post-racing career specifically in FE appealed, Turvey told Autosport: “Yeah, definitely, it does.
“There are other drivers that have made that move from driving into a team role. It’s something that interests me.
“As a driver you get a really big overview of the whole team – how a team works, how to be successful, how not to be successful. As a driver you learn a lot.
“In the future, it’s something that I would definitely consider and look at. When I finish racing, that would be the natural step.”
But aged only 33, compared to Audi driver Lucas di Grassi (36) and Porsche’s Andre Lotterer (39), Turvey added that stepping back from driving was still some way off.
He said: “I still feel young and that I’m getting better each year.
“I don’t feel ready to hang up my helmet just yet but in the future for the right opportunity I would look at [a team role].”