Norman Nato will partner Edoardo Mortara at Venturi Racing next season, replacing Brazilian Felipe Massa who left the team following the Season 6 finale in Berlin.
The Frenchman will step up to a full-time race seat for Formula E’s first season as an official FIA World Championship having spent the past two years as official test and reserve driver for the Monegasque squad.
Having spent countless hours in the simulator, as well as an appearance in the Marrakesh rookie test, Nato’s knowledge of the Mercedes powertrain and familiarity with the Venturi engineers make him well placed for a smooth transition into his new role next season.
Nato’s most recent single-seater experience was a three-year spell in GP2 (latterly Formula 2) between 2016-18, when the Frenchman scored three wins and a best finish of fifth in the drivers’ championship.
In recent times, Nato has made a successful transition to sportscar racing, competing in both the ELMS and WEC with Rebellion and finishing a career best 2nd in the LMP1 class at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Speaking of his promotion, Nato said: “I’ve been a part of the Venturi Racing family since 2018, so to secure a full-time race seat with the team for Season 7 is a great step forward and I can’t wait to show what we can achieve together.
“Over the past two years, we have built very solid foundations and we share the same bright ambitions for the future. I would like to thank Susie [Wolff] and the team for believing in my abilities and giving me this opportunity to race in the FIA Formula E World Championship. I’m very excited to hit the ground running in Santiago this January.”
Team principal Susie Wolff commented: “As our Reserve Driver Norman has proven his ability at every available opportunity, not only showing speed during in-season testing but also demonstrating clear commitment to his role in our simulator. The decision to promote him to a full time race seat is indicative of his contribution to the team so far – he has earned the opportunity to show us what he can do behind the wheel.”
The news of Nato’s promotion coincides with Mortara’s confirmation for a fourth straight season. The 33-year-old has three podium finishes and one race win to show from three years with the team and scored 41 of the team’s 44 points last season.