Formula E

‘I had nowhere to go’: Norman Nato Explains Opening Lap Crash

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Credit: Simon Galloway courtesy of FIA Formula E

Norman Nato‘s São Paulo E-Prix was incredibly short lived, as the Frenchman retired at the end of the opening lap after a big collison at Turn Three.

The sixth round of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is certainly one that Nato won’t be remembering anytime soon, despite the fact he showed solid pace all weekend ahead of the race. Nato narrowly missed out on the duels but started the race from eighth following grid penalties for a couple drivers ahead of him; however, it meant he was “on the dirty side of the grid”.

This resulted in Nato having a bad start, something which saw him sucked into the midfield pack. Moments later and his race was over, after hitting the right rear of Jake Hughes, launching his car into the air before slapping back onto the ground. He retired instantly as a result of the damage from the heavy impact.

Nato was understandably disappointed to have retired from the race so early, given that he was “feeling good in the car all weekend”.

“I was feeling good in the car all weekend, we were quick during practice and came really close to making it through to the Duels. Lining up in P8, I was on the dirty side of the grid, so didn’t make a great start and was immediately involved in a really tight battle. Heading into Turn 3, the driver ahead of me had to stop sharply to avoid contact and I had nowhere to go.

“I tried to go round him but it was too late and unfortunately we made contact that ended my race. It wasn’t the day we expected, but we’re making progress and we’ll look to do better in Berlin and score good points after this short break.”

“We’ll aim to come back stronger” – Sacha Fenestraz

On the other side of the Nissan Formula E Team garage and there was further disappointment for the Japanese manufacturer, after Sacha Fenestraz retired from the race not too long after his team-mate.

It was a disappointing weekend for the rookie, who was unable to reproduce his record-breaking pace from Cape Town. Fenestraz qualified fifteenth and enjoyed a steady start to the race, before clipping a wall after attempting to “avoid an incident in front of me”. Clipping the wall damaged the Frenchman’s wishbone and radiator, which resulted in him pulling to the side of the track to retire.

It certainly wasn’t the weekend that the Nissan driver was hoping for, especially as he was “expecting better” after being so fast in Cape Town.

“It was an unfortunate event for the whole team with both me and Norman out early. It’s a big shame because we were expecting better following our strong performances in recent rounds. We know there will be ups and downs in this championship and that’s exactly what happened here.

“I was just settling into the race when I hit the brakes to avoid an incident in front of me at Turn 4 and 5, locking up the rear and touching the wall. The contact caused damage to the wishbone and radiator and ended our day. A difficult weekend but there are still positives we can build on and we’ll aim to come back stronger.”

Credit: Sam Bloxham courtesy of FIA Formula E
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