Second podium for Norman and R-ace GP
One month after scoring a podium at the Nürburgring, in Formula Renault 2.0 Nothern European Cup, Norman Nato has double down on the same circuit during the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 meeting. The younger member of the French FFSA Circuit Team has succeed to qualify 3rd of both German race and has finished the first one at the third place after a strong fight with the two championship leaders. A too ambitious opponent hit him in the second race but the job was done with a fill up of points, confidence and experience.
Norman, no pole position on the Nürburgring this time?
(Laugh). No, we were not quick enough. The level is very high and unlike the NEC there was two groups for qualification. It is more difficult to manage the whole session. We didn’t have the opportunity to drive with the new tires the Friday, I was at 2 seconds from the best times and there was a part of unknown at the beginning of the qualifying session. Despite this lack of mark, the 2nd place in my group and the 3rd on the grid was a good satisfaction.
Between rain showers and competitors with a high level, the conditions were different from the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC race …
It is true, there was a big stress and the changing weather was not helping. Sometimes there was rain in a part of the circuit and you had to keep your cold blood, make a time without risking to have a crash. It was the first time we had rain on a meeting. I am learning new stuff every week-end! I am very happy because it prepares me to the higher level, it is a good experience and we succeeded to manage the events with calm, efficiency at the personal level and the collective level.
What represent that first podium in Eurocup FR 2.0 one month after your other one in FR2.0 NEC?
That’s a big step forward looking back to our position in the hierarchy. It was a difficult race because I had to fight with two drivers who are fighting for the driver title and who have experience. I wanted to compete with them without the risk of interfering in the title fight.
A complicated first turn …
It’s true, that’s the most important thing I have learned this weekend. I have learned that you have to be at the limit from the first lap. Sainz overtook me and I was quite angry! I have immediately raised my pace and after a nice fight I was very close to overtake him. I was a little bit quicker but I didn’t want to have a crash.
Have you found your mark during the particular phase of neutralization by the safety car?
It’s better than before. I am paying attention to be in the pace, not focalizing on the car in front of me but on the moment the lights go down and the pace of the first cars. It is part of the learning and it’s okay for me.
That’s also the first podium of the young team R-ace GP in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0
Yes and it was good for everybody after a difficult season start. Now things are better and we have a better understanding, the setup and the organization are developing well in the team, I am really progressing with them. There is a good feeling, we had to push on this way because I’m sure there are good things to come.
A team always needs a true leader and more when this team begins in a hard category. Could you be this leader?
I think that’s a surprise for the team who was more thinking about Côme Ledogar as a leader due to his experience. He was quicker than me at the beginning of the year but it starts to be the opposite. I don’t think that we have to stick someone to be the leader and that’s not my goal. On the other hand, to be on the podium and beating the other drivers, you have to start by beating your teammates and that’s my goal.
You have jumped from the 17th place to the 10th at the general standing. Don’t say to me that you haven’t noticed that the 5th is only at 16 points!
(Laugh). No, I will not say it! We keep an eye on the standing that’s true and the 5th place could be an ambition, but we know that further will be impossible. I have to progress and we have to be regularly on the outpost, the results will follow. It is essential to be regular and to progress on each meeting.
The next circuit is familiar to you, the Hungaroring where you have finished two times second in Formula 4 Eurocup. That’s a very demanding circuit like the Nürburgring.
Yes and I hope that we will follow the Nürburging example, find quickly the good setups and be confident from the beginning of the week-end. The Hungaroring is a very demanding track and I think it will suits to my driving. I am impatient to see what’s going to happen there!
What would you like to improve first during the next meetings?
There is a better understanding with my engineer, and we have better setup for the car regarding the information I’m giving. I think we can be better in qualification because I was not comfortable at the beginning. We are progressing but we need to be in the pace quickly, to be at the limit from lap one. I think we are making a good job.
The qualifications are more important that what you thought ?
Like in karting, you have to be in the top 5 if you want to play the victory. It is very important in Formula Renault 2.0 because it is difficult to overtake. When you are on pole, you have done 40% of the work. If you have a strong first lap, it is 70%.
Communiqué Equipe de France FFSA / Translate by R-ace GP