'Perfect' strategy for Nato sealed Nissan's first podium in Rome

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'Perfect' strategy for Nato sealed Nissan's first podium in Rome

Nissan claimed its first podium as a full manufacturer team in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in the Hankook Rome E-Prix Round 14, with Norman Nato taking second position at the chequered flag.

Nato Nissan's first podium Rome Formula E

The weekend hadn't started well for the Frenchman, who shunted in Free Practice 1 after overcooking it on the brakes. He did qualify 11th and clamber to seventh in the opening race, though - outdoing teammate Sacha Fenestraz who had qualified third, led but fell back to only 10th at the flag in a struggle with energy.

The car undoubtedly showed pace and promise, however, and on Sunday, Nato was able to capitalise. He matched Fenestraz's Saturday effort in qualifying with third on Sunday and carried that performance through the race to finish second. This was doubly impressive considering the Frenchman was running between a percentage point and 1.5% beneath the average energy consumption throughout the race - having also sustained damage in the opening laps, with his front wing dragging for the remainder.

He was visibly down on both top speed and average throttle usage, too - some 6km/h down on winner Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti) in top speed and on Nato's fastest lap he pressed the throttle pedal 10% less than Dennis was able to. Despite all of this, Nato managed things expertly to cross the line with 0.0% of his usable energy remaining, and importantly, the ultra-efficient Jaguar TCS Racing I-TYPE 6 of Sam Bird still in his mirrors.

"We were satisfied with qualifying but we knew it would be more difficult in the race," said Nato, with the team having experienced exactly those difficulties with Fenestraz a day prior. "It was tight with energy but we managed it well. Finishing in the points in both races is great for us.

"The strategy was perfect and we fought hard - it shows the progress we've made as a team this season."