Formula 2

Norman Nato: “I decided to bring the car back home”

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Norman Nato crossed the line second but a penalty for Charles Leclerc gave him victory - Credit: Zak Mauger/FIA Formula 2

Norman Nato secured his first win of the season around the Baku City Circuit on Sunday, despite finishing second on the road to Charles Leclerc.

The Pertamina Arden driver had assumed the lead of the race early on when Oliver Rowland pulled off the circuit with a gearbox issue, but found himself being caught and passed by Leclerc with just a handful of laps remaining.

However, the Monegasque driver had already been handed a ten-second time penalty for improving under yellow flags, meaning Nato was able to follow the Prema Racing driver home to take a well-earned first victory of the year, which he hopes will kick start his season.

“I made a good start to pass third,” said Nato. “Rowland tried to open the gap so I knew it was important to pass second and stay in the DRS of Rowland.

“I was catching up before I took the lead after his mechanical problem. I tried to push hard to open the gap. Once I opened the gap I’ve calm down to manage my tyres in case of safety car. Leclerc was faster than us and I knew he got a 10 second penalty, so I decided to bring the car back home.

“It’s a strong weekend after the difficulty we had to set up the car on Friday. We debrief all together to understand the problem and make a step forward. The team reacted well on the car set up. We keep working hard to improve and get this kind of result. “

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