Andretti reveal the key reason they signed Nato

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Andretti reveal the key reason they signed Nato

The Frenchman joins reigning World Champion Jake Dennis at the team for Season 10.

Nato Andretti 1

With the departure of Andre Lotterer and Jake Dennis being crowned FIA Formula E World Champion, Andretti needed to find the perfect fit for their second driver in Season 10. They decided upon Norman Nato, who made the move from Nissan, and Team Principal Roger Griffiths explains what made him stand out from the very-talented crowd.

French racing driver Nato got his first taste of Formula E back in Season 7 when he raced for Venturi, ending his debut season with a victory in Berlin. However, despite finishing his rookie year with a bang, he failed to secure a full-time seat for Season 8. He filled in for an injured Sam Bird at Jaguar TCS Racing for the Seoul doubleheader in 2022, before finally getting a permanent seat with Nissan for the GEN3 era. 

Season 9 was a big learning year for Nissan, who had two new drivers in Nato and Sacha Fenestraz as well as lots of internal staff changes. Nevertheless, the team had several highlights including Fenestraz’s maiden pole at the Cape Town E-Prix and Nato finishing second at the Rome E-Prix. 

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Norman's obviously getting up to speed with us,” Griffiths explained during the official pre-season testing in Valencia. “It's the first real running he's done in the car. He did a brief shakedown session in the UK before coming here. 

“He's learning the transition from the Nissan package to the Porsche package and he's got a new race engineer and a new team around him. We've been using this the last couple of days to really help cement that relationship between him and his race engineer, the mechanics, and there's still a couple of little things that we need to work out. This morning was really good for us to just work through some of the communication protocols, and what we’re used to using for him is maybe something new or unique. There’s still a bit more work to do, but I'm sure this afternoon’s session will go a lot smoother. Good progress so far!”

Nato and Dennis Andretti Valencia 1

Formula E well and truly had the silly season of all silly seasons during the summer break, with only three teams of the 11 on the grid keeping exactly the same line-up for Season 10. Although there were lots of drivers to pick from, and even drivers like Zane Maloney who completed the rookie test for Andretti, Roger Griffiths was keen to snap up Nato. 

“For sure, we certainly looked around the paddock. One of the key things from my perspective is to have drivers that are fully focused on this championship, and not being distracted by events outside of this championship - whether it be WEC or something else. So, once you set that criteria, you start to quite quickly eliminate other possibilities. 

Norman has proven to be a really strong wingman. I think he was really thrust into the limelight as team leader last year with Nissan and the rookie driver he had alongside him in Sasha Fenestraz. But he's always been on the cusp of that right opportunity and he's been a race winner. 

“We felt that if there was anything missing from the package that we had last season, it was the ability to really challenge for the teams’ title. Jake scored almost ten times the points that his teammate did, so it's something we needed to address. We felt Norman was the right level of experience, and knows Formula E quite well. We thought that that was a good opportunity for us to really use it as a year to focus more on the team rather than just one individual.”

WATCH: Dennis on his Formula E World Championship title win

Lotterer finished Season 9 with 23 points to his name, compared to the 229 Dennis achieved on his way to his first Formula E World Championship. The popular Formula E figure announced that he would be stepping away from single-seater racing to focus on endurance racing ahead of the new season. 

“We had a great relationship with Andre, we still do,” the Andretti Team Principal added. “He’s still part of the Porsche family. Obviously, we're all a little disappointed and frustrated that the results didn't come his way.”

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