Formula E

Norman Nato: “I’m feeling prepared and confident in the work we’ve done”

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Credit: Malcolm Griffiths courtesy of FIA Formula E

After spending Season Eight out of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (excluding an appearance at the Seoul E-Prix to replace Sam Bird), Norman Nato is preparing to make his comeback to the all-electric series this weekend at the Mexico City E-Prix, with the Nissan Formula E Team.

The Frenchman is, of course, a Formula E race winner, with the thirty year-old having won the Season Seven finale in Berlin, Germany. Had he not replaced Bird at the final race last season, then his race win would’ve been his most recent race in the series; instead, his most recent result in the series is fourteenth.

Nato looked good during pre-season testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, and astonishingly ended the week with the seventh-fastest time, suggesting that the Japanese manufacturer have some solid potential with their powertrain the Nissan e-4ORCE 04. Looking ahead to his returning campaign, the Frenchman is “really excited” to get the new era of Formula E underway and believes he is as “prepared and confident” as he could be.

“I’m really excited to get Season 9 underway! It’s going to be an interesting one, with the new cars, my first race for the team and at a new track for me. However, I’m feeling prepared and confident in the work we’ve done in the off-season and at testing in Valencia. I’ve seen and heard about the amazing atmosphere in Mexico City, so I can’t wait to race through the stadium in front of so many passionate fans.”

“I don’t think anybody knows what to expect” – Sacha Fenestraz

On the other side of the completely new Nissan driver line-up is rookie Sacha Fenestraz, who, like Nato, stepped in for an injured driver at the Seoul E-Prix. The 2022 Super Formula runner-up replaced Antonio Giovinazzi at Dragon/Penske Autosport for the final race of last season, and finished sixteenth.

This result is, of course, an unfair judgement on his potential, given that his Formula E debut was the final race of the Gen2 era! Many see Fenestraz as an incredibly exciting driver, one who perhaps is worth keeping an eye across the entire Gen3 era. His aim for Season Nine is to “limit my mistakes”, as he hopes to show what he’s capable of.

Looking ahead to his full debut at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Fenestraz is targeting to “build” his confidence with his car, with gaining “experience” this season set to be key to his future success in the championship.

“I don’t think anybody knows what to expect this weekend, but it’s going to be an incredible moment to be part of. We’ve been pushing hard to make a positive start to the Gen3 era and I’m looking forward to my first race as a full-time Formula E driver.

“My target for Mexico is to build my confidence in the car and have a positive season opener. There’s a lot of events coming up soon, so I want to begin strongly, show good speed and try to limit my mistakes. The test in Valencia was good but it always feels different at an event, so I’m looking to get experience under my belt and continue building for the year ahead.”

Credit: Sam Bloxham courtesy of FIA Formula E
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