Norman Nato claimed Nissan’s first podium as an official manufacturer team, after finishing second last Sunday at the Rome E-Prix.

Up until last weekend’s double-header in the Italian capital, Nato’s return to Formula E this season had been a disappointing one. Whilst he had shown significant improvement over recent rounds, the Frenchman finally showed his true potential in the Eternal City.

After finishing seventh in the first race of the double-header, Nato went on to proceed to the semi-finals in qualifying for the second race, where he secured a superb third on the grid. Nissan’s qualifying performance has been impeccable on the whole this campaign, with it being their energy management during the races which has been their biggest downfall.

There were no such concerns last Sunday though, as the Japanese manufacturer got Nato’s strategy “perfect”. The 31-year-old did drop to fourth behind Mitch Evans early in the race, but was promoted to second after Evans launched over the top of Nick Cassidy on the second lap.

Instead of settling for second, Nato put leader Jake Dennis under immense pressure, before attempting a late move at the penultimate corner. Nato failed to overtake the Andretti driver and instead clipped the left-rear of Dennis, damaging his front wing.

Dennis went on to cruise to the race win whilst Nato put up an immense defensive display to finish second, with Sam Bird in third having been significantly quicker and keen to overtake. The superb result has launched Nato into 10th in the Drivers’ Championship, whilst it’s put Nissan within touching distance of customer team McLaren in the Constructors’.

Nato was “so happy” to have claimed a podium with it having shown the “progress” made by the side, who are hoping to continue their recent good form at the London season finale next weekend.

“I’m so happy with the performance today, we were pleased with qualifying but knew it would be more difficult in the race,” said Nato.

“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.”

Whilst the result left Nato delighted, it’s been reported by The Race that Nissan won’t be retaining the Cannes-born driver for 2024. Rookie Sacha Fenestraz will be remaining with the outfit next season, with talks reportedly taking place with the recently axed from AlphaTauri Nyck de Vries. After leaving Mahindra ahead of the Jakarta E-Prix, Oliver Rowland is also in contention to return to his former side.

It’s believed that Nato is keen to remain in the all-electric paddock next year. The biggest issue, though, is that his options are scarce.

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