Fenestraz, Nato join Nissan Formula E squad for 2022-23 season

Nissan has signed Sacha Fenestraz and Norman Nato as its Formula E drivers for the 2022-23 season as part of a total overhaul of its driver line-up.

Fenestraz, Nato join Nissan Formula E squad for 2022-23 season

French pair Fenestraz and Nato replace the Japanese manufacturer's previous drivers Sebastien Buemi and Maximilian Gunther for the ninth season of the all-electric championship.

Nato makes his full-time return to Formula E after driving for Venturi in 2020-21, while Fenestraz will take on his first full season following his Formula E debut in the second race of this month’s Seoul season finale as a last-minute stand-in for an injured Antonio Giovinazzi at Dragon Racing.

“I’m very happy to be making my comeback as a full-time driver in Formula E with Nissan," said Nato, who also drove in Seoul as a replacement for an injured Sam Bird at Jaguar.

“The Gen3 era will be a new chapter for the championship, and I'm excited to prepare for testing and drive the car.

“The hard work starts now - I have a lot to learn and areas to develop in with the team to be at my best for the first round of Season 9 in Mexico City.”

Fenestraz has focused on his twin Super Formula and Super GT campaigns in Japan since 2020, but is also well-established in the Formula E paddock, having served as a reserve and development driver for Jaguar for the last two seasons.

Insight: The ex-Renault F1 protege gunning for Japan title glory

The ex-Renault junior driver drove for Jaguar in the 2020 Formula E rookie test in Marrakesh and was the first driver to sample the team’s Gen3 machine in private testing earlier this year.

Fenestraz revealed to Autosport that the Nissan deal had been in the works for some time and finally came together immediately after his first Super Formula win at Sugo in June.

“I went to [the team base in] Le Mans for a simulator day and it went very well,” recalled Fenestraz.

Sacha Fenestraz (FRA), Dragon | Penske Autosport, Penske EV-5

Sacha Fenestraz (FRA), Dragon | Penske Autosport, Penske EV-5

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

“The next day we went to Paris to meet Tomasso [Volpe, Nissan global motorsport director] and Cyrille [Jourdan, sporting director].

“I knew around the time of the Sugo race they were going to give me an answer, yes or no, and finally they said yes just after my win.

“Literally as I walked to the press conference, my father called me to tell me the news, so I was doubly happy!”

Fenestraz followed his Sugo victory for Kondo Racing with a first Super GT win alongside TOM’S team-mate Ritomo Miyata at Fuji the week before his Seoul Formula E cameo in which he finished 16th, matching Giovinazzi’s best finish of the season.

He sits second in the Super Formula standings behind Tomoki Nojiri with two races to go, while he and Miyata are leading the points in Super GT at the halfway mark.

Read Also:

Fenestraz admits he has few expectations for his first full Formula E campaign, especially after a bruising season for Nissan that yielded a lowly ninth in the teams’ standings, but thinks the introduction of the new Gen3 car is the ideal timing to make his debut.

“[The Seoul call-up] came at the perfect time for me, to have at least experienced at least one race, even if it was at the last moment, I really learned a lot,” he said.

“It’s a very high-level championship, even just by doing one race I realised how hard it is.

“I don’t really know what to expect, and the last few seasons have been tough for Nissan, but they’ve found something that was wrong on the car that was costing them performance since the start of Gen2, and they have changed that [for Gen3].”

shares
comments
Andretti to build new motorsport headquarters in Indiana
Previous article

Andretti to build new motorsport headquarters in Indiana

Next article

Rast joins McLaren for 2022-2023 Formula E season

Rast joins McLaren for 2022-2023 Formula E season
The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title Plus

The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title

After Nyck de Vries was crowned Formula E champion in 2021, his Mercedes team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne stepped forward this season as the Gen2 era and his team bowed out. As he did on the way to the GP2 crown in 2015, the Belgian achieved a peerless level of consistency and was only outside the points once, with his sole win in Monaco sufficient to head off a chasing pack headed by Mitch Evans

Formula E
Sep 19, 2022
Why Bird can bounce back after a tough 2021-22 Formula E season Plus

Why Bird can bounce back after a tough 2021-22 Formula E season

With his winning streak coming to an end this season, the 2021-22 Formula E season was tumultuous for Sam Bird, failing to gather momentum as Jaguar generally struggled. But the long-term favourite looks forward to bouncing back next season as the championship enters its new era

Formula E
Aug 30, 2022
What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2 Plus

What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2

The 2021-2022 Formula E season finale brought the curtain down on the Gen2 era of the all-electric world championship. It elevated FE to new heights, fulfilling its intended directive. While it is a good launching pad for the impending Gen3 cycle, there are certain aspects the series must tackle for the new era to have the same impact as its predecessor

Formula E
Aug 16, 2022
The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge Plus

The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge

The odds were heavily stacked in Stoffel Vandoorne’s favour to capture the Formula E crown at the Seoul finale, but chief rival Mitch Evans applied maximum pressure with victory in the first race. It meant Vandoorne had to show his resolve to reproduce the key qualities he held all season to complete his march to the title

Formula E
Aug 15, 2022
Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title? Plus

Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title?

Stoffel Vandoorne is on the brink of the Formula E title with a commanding lead ahead of the Seoul finale, but both rivals and unknowns still stand in his way. Here’s a run through of what Vandoorne must overcome to clinch the championship and how his competition will look to pull off the biggest of shocks

Formula E
Aug 10, 2022
How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon Plus

How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon

It might not look like the most glittering of Formula E campaigns, but Dragon Penske’s youngster has caught the eye of those who count despite his future remaining unclear. Regardless of the distortion, Sergio Sette Camara has a clear vision of what he’s focused on and how to get there

Formula E
Aug 4, 2022
How Formula E's title fight gave way to Dennis and Di Grassi in the dockyards Plus

How Formula E's title fight gave way to Dennis and Di Grassi in the dockyards

The penultimate stop on Formula E's world tour took in London's ExCeL, where the championship contenders were upstaged by two first-time winners in 2022. Andretti’s Jake Dennis kept the home fires burning in the first race as Venturi’s Lucas di Grassi claimed the second, but two consistent finishes mean its advantage Stoffel Vandoorne heading to the Seoul finale

Formula E
Aug 1, 2022
The ex-F1 racer turned Venturi team boss adapting to a Formula E title fight Plus

The ex-F1 racer turned Venturi team boss adapting to a Formula E title fight

For the second year in a row, the Venturi team is in the thick of the fight for Formula E title glory with Edoardo Mortara. That's despite a change to a more meritocratic qualifying system, which was expected to give the works Mercedes team an edge, and ex-Formula 1 racer Jerome d'Ambrosio being new in the team principal hot seat. As he tells Autosport, it's a challenge he's revelling in

Formula E
Jul 26, 2022