Nato keeps Feature race pole after FIA investigation

Norman Nato - Credit: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service

Norman Nato will be allowed to start from pole position for Saturday’s Feature race at Silverstone after being cleared of any wrongdoing while setting his best lap during qualifying.

The Frenchman was under investigation after appearing to set his time of 1:38.216 when the red flags flew to recover the stranded car of Oliver Rowland at turn four, but was found to have doing nothing untoward.

The Racing Engineering driver was crossing the line just as the red flags came out, and he was able to retain his lap time and secure his maiden GP2 Series pole position.

“I didn’t see any red flag,” said Nato after the session. “On the last corner I didn’t see any marshal showing a red flag.

“I had my eyes on the dashboard [on the run to the line] to see my time and, after I crossed the line, when I went into Turn 1, my engineer told me on the radio.”

Nato had felt comfortable with his car set-up during the qualifying session, which was affected by two red flag periods in total for stoppages for Nabil Jeffri and Rowland, and was happy with his pole position setting lap.

“The car was very good on my first set of tyres and I was in P2 even if I didn’t put it all together,” insisted Nato. “I told my engineer not to touch the car when the new tyres were fitted and I would find the time in my driving. I was able to put it all together then and set the fastest time.”