Nissan Formula E Team takes points finish in chaotic Portland EPrix
Fenestraz and Nato in the top three on the grid, with Frenchman taking ninth in the race
PORTLAND, Oregon (June 24, 2023) – Nissan Formula E Team secured a points finish in Round 12 of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in Portland, with Norman Nato taking P9 on the series’ first vist to the city.
The team displayed excellent qualifying pace, with Sacha Fenestraz and Nato both starting in the top-three. Running in Group A, the pair were immediately strong, as Fenestraz took top spot, ahead of Nato in third. After both won their quarter-final Duel, they came up against each other in the semi-final for the second time this season, with the Franco-Argentine moving on to the final.
After a hectic start to the race, the duo was in the fight for the lead in the early stages, before contact meant Fenestraz had to come in for a new front wing. Nato led and showed strong speed, but in a chaotic event, was shuffled down the order after taking his second Attack Mode, eventually securing points in ninth. Meanwhile, despite a good initial fightback after the stop, Fenestraz crossed the finish line in 15th. Formula E returns on 15-16 July when the series visits Rome for the penultimate race weekend of the season.
Tommaso Volpe, managing director and team principal, Nissan Formula E Team: “It was a challenging race weekend, where we achieved a great result in qualifying, showing how fast we can be, but it was a chaotic race. A small contact compromised Sacha’s run, and after leading several laps, Norman didn’t have the pace in the car to stay at the front and lost a few positions. We didn’t score as many points as we hoped for, but we have to take the positives. We have a quick car in qualifying and from tomorrow our focus turns to the next race in Rome.”
Norman Nato: “We had great pace in qualifying today and I was really happy with the one-lap performance of the car. In the race, it was difficult as everybody was together as one big pack. Managing the energy was really tough, especially when leading, which caused constant side-by-side action as nobody wanted to be at the front. We didn’t have podium pace today, but considering we started third our target was definitely higher than P9, although we are still happy for the points.”
Sacha Fenestraz: “Once again in qualifying we had amazing speed. To top a strong group and reach the final for the third time this season is a great achievement for me, and I’m very happy with our one-lap performance. It was a difficult race, this track layout isn’t ideal for Formula E cars, meaning that the whole pack bunched together for almost the entire event as nobody wanted to lead and use up their energy. I made a small mistake, locking up and damaging my front wing, which meant we had to box to change it. From then, it was difficult to recover, but we keep the positives from qualifying and move on to Rome.”
About Nissan in Formula E
Nissan made its all-electric racing debut in Season 5 (2018/19) of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, becoming the first and only Japanese manufacturer to enter the series. In Season 7 (2020/21), Nissan announced its long-term involvement in Formula E and its commitment to the Gen3 era, which will run from Season 9 (2022/23) through to the end of Season 12 (2025/26) of the all-electric racing series. In April 2022, Nissan acquired the e.dams race team, with the Japanese automaker taking full ownership of its involvement in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. In June 2022, Nissan announced it would supply its Nissan EV powertrain technology to McLaren Racing for the entirety of the Formula E Gen3 era. For Season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, the Nissan Formula E drivers will be Norman Nato and Sacha Fenestraz. Nissan races in Formula E to bring the excitement and fun of zero-emission electric vehicles to a global audience. As part of its goal to achieve carbon neutrality across its operations and the life cycle of its products by 2050, Nissan intends to electrify every all-new vehicle offering by the early 2030s in key markets. The Japanese automaker aims to bring its expertise in transferring knowledge and technology between the racetrack and road for better electric vehicles for customers.
About Formula E
The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship became the first global sport to be certified with a net zero carbon footprint from inception back in 2020, having invested in certified climate-protecting projects in all race markets to offset emissions from every season of electric racing. All cars in the championship are powered by electricity, with the series acting as a competitive platform to test and develop the latest in electric technology. The World's greatest manufacturers race against each other on street circuits and Formula E promotes the adoption of sustainable mobility in city centres in a bid to combat air pollution and lessen the effects of climate change.