Norman Nato joins Edoardo Mortara at ROKiT Venturi Racing for the 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, with the Monegasque team promoting its long-time test and simulator driver to a full race seat for Season 7.
Venturi sees Nato as best-placed to step into Felipe Massa's shoes following the announcement post-Berlin that the experienced Brazilian would leave the team after two seasons.
The Frenchman has been involved with the outfit since 2018 as its Reserve Driver, made two appearances at Formula E's annual Marrakesh Rookie Test and has spent hours carrying out developmental work for the team in its simulator over the last two years.
Since entering professional motorsport in 2006, Nato has worked his way up the ladder, finishing runner-up in F4 Eurocup 1.6 back in 2010 and in Formula Renault 2.0 Alps in 2012.
From there, Nato stepped into Formula Renault 3.5 and took a dominant victory around the streets of Monte Carlo. His performances opened the door to GP2 Series - now Formula 2 - where he took three wins and eight podiums in three seasons and finished fifth overall in 2016.
Most recently, Nato came third in both the 2018 European Le Mans Series and the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship, including a second-placed finish in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The 28-year-old is eager to push the team forward given the faith Venturi, and team principal Susie Wolff have placed in him.
"I’ve been a part of the ROKiT Venturi Racing family since 2018, so to secure a full-time race seat with the team for Season 7 is a great step forward and I can’t wait to show what we can achieve together," he said.
"Over the past two years, we have built very solid foundations and we share the same bright ambitions for the future. I would like to thank Susie [Wolff] and the team for believing in my abilities and giving me this opportunity to race in the FIA Formula E World Championship.
"I’m very excited to hit the ground running in Santiago this January.”
The 2020/21 campaign marks Edo Mortara's fourth year with the team. A maiden win came back in Hong Kong, 2019 for the Swiss-Italian in what was Formula E's 50th race. He has made the podium on a further three occasions and is the marque's most experienced and successful driver to-date.
"I’m excited to continue my journey with ROKiT Venturi Racing into Season 7 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship," said Mortara. "There have been some real highlights over the past four years and I’m very keen to see what we can do together moving forward into this next stage of the team’s development. I know that by the time January comes around, we will be in a better position to challenge our rivals.
"We saw some real promise during the first few races of Season 6 and although the season didn’t finish the way we wanted it to, we’ve put a lot of work in since then and I know we’re all hungry to get back out on track.
"I’m really happy to welcome Norman to his new role with the team. He’s earned it, and I’m looking forward to working more closely with him. Working together, I hope that we will deliver some strong results in what is a landmark year for both the team and the championship.”
"As our Reserve Driver Norman has proven his ability at every available opportunity, not only showing speed during in-season testing but also demonstrating clear commitment to his role in our simulator," added ROKiT Venturi Racing Team Principal Susie Wolff.
"The decision to promote him to a full time race seat is indicative of his contribution to the team so far. He has earned the opportunity to show us what he can do behind the wheel.
"The 2020/21 campaign will be Edo’s fourth with the team and we hope that his experience in the series combined with Norman’s ability and determination will make for a formidable pairing.
"Season 7 marks Formula E’s first campaign as a World Championship and we’ve very much looking forward to hitting the track in Santiago next year.”
Published on 16th October 2020