Formula E

Fresh start for Nissan as Norman Nato and Sacha Fenestraz announced as Season Nine line-up

3 Mins read
Credit: Nissan E.DAMS

Nissan Formula E Team have announced a completely new line-up for Season Nine of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, in the form of both Jaguar TCS Racing reserve drivers Norman Nato and Sacha Fenestraz.

Nato sat out Season Eight of the championship to compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship; however, he filled in for Sam Bird at the Seoul E-Prix double-header, due to Bird being forced to miss the season finale due to a hand injury from the London E-Prix.

The Frenchman has won in the championship before, after claiming victory at the Berlin E-Prix in Season Six. Nato is a great addition back to the championship, with Season Nine already looking set to be a thriller.

Nato is “very happy” to be returning to the series as a permanent driver, with the Frenchman ready for the “new chapter” of the all-electric series.

“I’m very happy to be making my comeback as a full-time driver in Formula E with Nissan. The Gen3 era will be a new chapter for the championship, and I’m excited to prepare for testing and drive the car. The hard work starts now – I have a lot to learn and areas to develop in with the team to be at my best for the first round of Season 9 in Mexico City.”

Above: Norman Nato – Credit: FIA Formula E

Fenestraz, on the other hand, has never experienced a full season in the championship, and only made his debut at the very last race of the Season Eight campaign. The French-Argentine driver replaced Antonio Giovinazzi at the last race of the season for Dragon/Penske Autosport, after the Italian was injured in Race One in Seoul.

He has spent 2022 racing in both Super Formula and the GT500 class in Super GT, with the twenty-three-year-old currently sitting top of the Super GT standings.

Fenestraz is excited for the “big step forward” in his motorsport career, with it being his first full-time drive in a World Championship.

”It’s a dream come true. It will be a big step forward in my career, to move up into a World Championship for the first time and to be competing at such a high level against some of the best drivers in the world. It’s going to be a different challenge for me as it will be my first season in an all-electric car. I’m excited to compete in this championship as street circuits are my favourite, with high risks and no room for errors.

“As a rookie in a new format, there is a lot of preparation to do and plenty to learn! I’ve been dreaming of this moment for a very long time, and I am very grateful to Nissan for this opportunity. I can’t wait to get started and I’ll do everything to perform as best as I can.”

Tommaso Volpe, General Manager, Nissan Formula E, and Managing Director, Nissan Formula E Team, is excited to see what 2023 will bring, which includes the team’s new partnership with McLaren Racing.

“This is a significant moment for the team as we commence the Gen3 era, and we are very happy to welcome both Norman and Sacha on board. Season 9 will be our first season competing as one team, following Nissan’s acquisition of e.dams earlier this year, and also the beginning of our partnership with McLaren Racing.

“This marks a new era for the Nissan Formula E Team, and we believe that a combination of experience and the opportunity to nurture new talent is the right balance for us right now. In Norman and Sacha, we have found two strong drivers to fulfil our vision.

“Norman has proven to be a very talented driver in Formula E and in other series, and he brings a wealth of experience and skills to the team. As for Sacha, we have monitored his progress and performance over the past few years and have been very impressed.

“We believe he has great potential and that this is the right time to bring him into to the team. I am convinced that they will complement each other and the team very well. I can’t wait to see them both in action on track in our new Nissan Gen3 car.”

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