After the end of the intense and technological Season 9 of Formula E, with the historic triumph of Jake Dennis for the drivers and Envision Racing for the teams, there are still things to analyze from the GEN3 era.
Norman Nato, whose time at Nissan appears to be numbered, secured fourth place in the final race of the season, extending his points streak to six races and helping the team overtake NEON customers McLaren in the final of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
Nato achieved the best result of the season for the squad with second place in Rome and was able to follow up with eighth and fourth place in London, ensuring Nissan would finish seventh in the World Team Championship in its first season as a manufacturer.
Nissan’s end-of-season run was in stark contrast to its McLaren customers, which endured a seven-round winless streak in the last 10 rounds. Rene Rast had moved up to second place in heat 15 before falling down the order and ultimately suffering damage in contact with Pascal Wehrlein’s TAG Heuer Porsche 99X Electric.
That followed the German’s misfortune in Rome, who suffered a technical problem while running in third. Undoubtedly, the team had the pace of the Nissan in the run-up, but neither Rast nor his teammate Jake Hughes were able to score more than 16 points in the final 10 rounds of the campaign.
Nato called the London finale his “best weekend” so far in Formula E, as he sealed a 10th-place finish in the World Drivers’ Championship.
“That was my best weekend so far,” Nato said after the race. “Beating McLaren in qualifying was important, but I wouldn’t say we were happy with seventh place on the grid. It’s important, and McLaren is a team with a lot more experience than us, who have been champions twice [under the previous Mercedes-EQ guise ] yet we ended up beating them with the same package, we can be proud of that.”
Sacha Fenestraz felt his teammate “saved” the team, with the French-Argentinean struggling in London. “It was a good first step for us,” he said. “We are here to win, but it was a first step. Now, we have to keep moving forward in the coming years.”