Nissan Formula E Team secured its first podium finish of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship at the Rome E-Prix, with Norman Nato securing an excellent second place in Round 14.
Having put in a strong qualifying performance to start the 24-lap event third, the Frenchman moved into second place early in the race and kept up a competitive pace throughout, showing some great defensive driving in the final laps to claim the podium. On Saturday, Nato was caught out in qualifying by a late red flag which spoilt his final push lap, meaning he would start in the middle of the pack. An impressive fightback following the red flag midway through the race saw him move up to seventh, scoring six points.
Sacha Fenestraz qualified well for Round 13 with third, before a quick start saw him move into the lead of the race, which he would hold for several laps. Unfortunately, after a long red flag interruption, confusion over the length of the race caused the Franco-Argentine to overconsume energy, forcing him to begin saving and dropping down the order, eventually finishing in 10th. On Sunday, an electrical problem in one of the common parts prevented Fenestraz from participating in Free Practice 3 and qualifying, while a technical issue in the race forced a pit stop, finally crossing the line in 16th.
Formula E returns for the final event of Season 9 in two weeks’ time, when the series heads to London for Rounds 15 and 16.
Tommaso Volpe, managing director and team principal, Nissan Formula E Team: “We confirmed our pace once again, especially in qualifying. Sacha took P3 while Norman was caught out by a red flag, and it was Norman who was third when Sacha had an electrical system failure. The first race this weekend was unfortunate for us. Sacha moved from P3 to P1 very early on, and kept the lead for many laps. However, after the red flag, there was some confusion over the length of the race. This was corrected a few laps into the restart but, by then, Sacha was already overconsuming in the lead and needed to slow down, dropping several positions. Norman did a great job in the race. He picked up some damage on his front wing early, but kept pushing, gaining a position, and defended really well until the end of the race to secure the podium finish. I am very pleased with how the team came together and worked hard against the clock this weekend and achieved this result, despite the challenges we encountered. We’ll look to take this pace and team spirit to London and finish the season on a high there.”
Norman Nato: “I’m so happy with the performance, we were pleased with qualifying but knew it would be more difficult in the race. I felt really good in the car throughout, it was close on energy but I managed it well. The strategy was perfect, we fought hard and it shows the progress we’ve made as a team this season. To score points on both days is also great, we recovered strongly on Saturday and deserved that top-10 finish. We’ll enjoy this one and look to continue to push for London at the end of the month.”
Sacha Fenestraz: “I was very happy with qualifying on Saturday on a difficult track and I was feeling good in the lead, but after the red flag there was some confusion over the length of the race and, once we realized about it I had to save more energy than anticipated, which cost us several positions. It was frustrating with an electrical issue that meant we missed qualifying, but the team did a fantastic job to get us out on track for the race. We clearly had the potential for a strong result this weekend, as proven by Norman. I’m really happy to see him on the podium and hopefully we can compete at the front again in London.”