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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Nato “not pissed off” to lose Venturi FE seat regardless of rookie win

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A two-time race winner within the FIA World Endurance Championship with Revolt, Nato made his Components E debut in 2021 as a alternative for Felipe Massa, teaming up with sequence common Edoardo Mortara at Mercedes buyer Venturi.

The French driver completed on the rostrum in solely his fourth race look in Rome, solely to be disqualified quickly after for exceeding his vitality allocation. One other potential rostrum consequence went begging in Valencia when he was handed a time penalty for nudging Alex Lynn right into a spin, dropping to fifth within the closing classification.

However the 29-year-old lastly made amends for that within the season finale in Valencia, rising from sixth on the grid to take a surprising first victory in Components E. 

He ended the season 18th within the standings on 54 factors, serving to Venturi to beat the likes of Porsche, Mahindra and Nissan to seventh within the groups’ desk.

However Nato says he has no qualms with Venturi’s resolution to switch him with di Grassi as he sees his long-term future in endurance racing and never Components E.

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“Venturi had been searching for one thing totally different [and] we did not handle to discover a compromise,” Nato informed Autosport about his exit from FE.

“I stated I confirmed on observe I had the expertise to be within the automobile to be a Components E driver. I completed one of the best ways I may have accomplished in Berlin with a win. 

“Ultimately I am not pissed off or something. My future is in endurance. Possibly sooner or later I’ll nonetheless be working in Components E if there is a chance.

“For my future I needed to make some choices, like sportscars or Components E. I may have accomplished yet another 12 months doing Components E plus endurance however no more I feel.”

Norman Nato, Venturi Racing, Silver Arrow 02

Picture by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images

Venturi had already communicated its resolution to Nato earlier than his Berlin victory in mid-August, however a proper announcement concerning di Grassi’s signing wasn’t made till a month after the finale.

Requested when he heard about Venturi’s plans for 2022, he stated: “It was earlier than Berlin, I knew that already since August.

“It was fairly clear that they had been searching for one thing totally different for the way forward for the crew as a result of they knew that I used to be not going to remain in Components E as properly for a few years. 

“Lucas is an efficient alternative. He is a quick man, has lots of expertise. They determined to take one other method, which I perceive. 

“As I stated I did my job, we completed seventh within the championship in entrance of Porsche. For a non-manufacturer crew I feel we did a fantastic season, me and my teammate. 

“I used to be a rookie. I ought to have accomplished three-four podiums in complete, two have been eliminated. Plus a win. So, as a rookie I feel it was fairly an unfortunate season.”

Nato is a lot of endurance racing championships for 2022, with WEC, ELMS, and the IMSA SportsCar Championship all on his radar. 

“I am in discussions, perhaps you will notice me a bit in Components E performing some work,” he stated. “For certain I will be in endurance [racing] as properly. I am additionally creating a nitrogen automobile. You will notice me [next year] for certain, the place but, I do not know. Let’s have a look at.”

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