Norman Nato felt he was driving a ‘rocketship’ during the second race of the Berlin E-Prix weekend, with the Frenchman securing his maiden ABB FIA Formula E World Championship victory at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit.
The ROKiT Venturi Racing driver was almost untouchable when he took over from Stoffel Vandoorne for the lead, with the Frenchman surviving a safety car period and pressure from Oliver Rowland to take the chequered flag first for his maiden win and the second victory of the season for the team.
Nato admitted to being ‘speechless’ after the race, but he felt it was a tense afternoon behind the wheel, particularly after the safety car restart, and he thanked the team for their support throughout the season.
“Today we executed the perfect race and honestly, I’m shocked and speechless,” said Nato. “I’ve been hungry for silverware for a very long time after losing my podiums in Rome and Valencia so it was very emotional to finally finish inside the top three.
“Every week, we put in a massive amount of work with the hope of achieving results like this so to execute the perfect race is a very special feeling. The car was flawless and it felt like I was driving a rocketship.
“From my perspective, the race was very tense, especially after the second Safety Car restart when Ollie [Rowland] tried to overtake but in the end, we came out on top. It feels great to end the season with a win and this is a moment I just want to enjoy.
“I would like to thank the entire team for supporting me this season and getting me to the top step. I’m proud of them and a result like this means the world.”
“At the start, there was nothing I could do to avoid Mitch” – Edoardo Mortara
Team-mate Edoardo Mortara went into the final race of the season with an excellent chance of taking the title, but his chance of taking the crown was over before he even got to turn one after he collected the stationary car of Mitch Evans on the start and finish straight.
Mortara had qualified eleventh on the grid but was unable to avoid the Jaguar Racing driver as he accelerated towards the first turn, and he was taken to the medical centre for his troubles. He was identified to have a small fracture on his fourth vertebrae that will put him out of action for around six weeks.
Despite the disappointment of losing the chance of the title, Mortara was thankful for the response of the marshals and medical team, and he was full of praise for Nato for taking his maiden victory.
“After the highs of yesterday, I was looking forward to racing today and I think we had an outside shot at the Drivers’ Championship,” said Mortara. “At the start, there was nothing I could do to avoid Mitch [Evans] and by the time he was in my vision, it was too late to react.
“It was a heavy impact and I’m glad that he’s ok. From my side, I have a microfracture of my fourth vertebrae from the crash but I’m very grateful that I don’t need an operation or have a more serious injury.
“I would like to thank the marshals and the medical team for their response to my accident and to congratulate Norman for securing his maiden win in Formula E.”