NORMAN NATO NAMED RESERVE DRIVER FOR VENTURI FORMULA E TEAM
Monaco, 7 December 2018
With final preparations well under way ahead of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship Season 5 opening race, on 15 December in Ad Diriyah (Saudi Arabia), the VENTURI Formula E Team is delighted to announce the addition of Frenchman, Norman NATO, to the driver line-up. This year’s ELMS (European Le Mans Series) vice-champion joins lead drivers Felipe MASSA, Edoardo MORTARA and development driver, Simona DE SILVESTRO as the Monegasque team’s reserve driver.
As the team’s official reserve driver, the Cannes-born 26 year-old will play a vital role throughout the season dividing his time between the simulator and the different race circuits that form the fifth ABB FIA Formula E Championship. NATO will make his debut in the car on the 13th January, the day after the race in Marrakesh ePrix, where he will take part in the official Rookie test, continuing the work he began last summer testing the VENTURI VFE-05, and putting his sessions in the simulator to the test.
DESTINED TO DRIVE
Norman NATO’s big break came in 2004, when he became French Karting Champion in the “Minime” 7-11 age category. The following year, he won the French Championship in the “Cadet” category for 10-14 year-olds. He turned professional a year later, at the age of 14. In 2010, the young driver’s career entered a new stage, as he made his competitive racing debut in a full-size car in the F4 Eurocup 1.6 Championship, ending the season in second place overall with the Autosport Academy.
NATO then began a steady climb through the ranks. In his second year in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship in 2012, he finished in fourth place overall. Simultaneously he was also competing in the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps (a merger of the Italian and Swiss championships), ending the year in second place with eight podium finishes, including four race wins.
In 2014, in his second year in the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship, he finished in seventh place overall after a strong season, which included a flawless weekend in Monaco where he qualified in pole position, won the race and set the fastest lap.
In 2015, Norman NATO joined the GP2 Series (now the FIA Formula 2 Championship), finishing fifth overall in 2016. The latest highlight of his career came in October 2018, when he became Vice-Champion in the ELMS (European Le Mans Series).
WHAT THEY SAY:
“Formula E has quickly established itself as a leading race series with many of the big constructors committing to participating. VENTURI Formula E Team is one of the historic teams in the field and the team has developed impressively over the last few months. So the opportunity to drive for Gildo PASTOR and Susie WOLFF at this key time in the history of the team and the championship is a privilege I’m fully aware of. The job that’s been entrusted to me is very important, as a Formula E meeting takes places over just one day (the Saturday – practice, qualifying and the race) the team has to be prepared and in the best possible shape to make the most of the opportunities available in a short timeframe. Driving Formula E cars demands a lot of finesse and technique. I’ll be putting all of my energy into learning our new car and fine-tuning my driving so that we can perfect our race day performance and strategy.”
Norman NATO, VENTURI Formula E Team reserve driver
“I’m delighted to see another experienced driver join the team. With Norman NATO’s arrival, VENTURI Formula E Team now has a solid quartet. Norman is a talented driver, intelligent, approachable, brimming with energy and determination: he will bring those valuable qualities to the team, and will certainly be a big plus for us. Full steam ahead for this new season!”
Gildo PASTOR, President of VENTURI Formula E Team
“Norman is a fantastic addition to the team, he’s settling in well as he takes on an important role in the simulator – a critical element for any Formula E team. His experience gained over a variety of disciplines will be an asset to the team. As reserve driver, he will be attending some races, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do with the car in Marrakesh.”
Susie WOLFF, Team Principal of VENTURI Formula
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