A difficult Formula E season ends on a sour note for Jaguar Racing’s Sam Bird following a broken hand suffered at the London E-Prix.
On Tuesday, Jaguar Racing confirmed Bird’s injury during the opening lap of Sunday’s race. Bird managed to not only finish the London E-Prix but pick up his eighth point finish of the year. However, the injury has ruled him out of the upcoming Formula E season finale. Stepping in for Bird, is former ROKiT Venturi driver and experienced Formula E reserve driver, Norman Nato. Nato will compete alongside Mitch Evans in the Seoul E-Prix doubleheader.
What is Nato Norman’s Formula E history?
After coming up through the F3 and F2 ranks, the French driver first appeared on the Formula E scene at the end of 2018 as the Venturi reserve driver. He maintained that role for the 19-20 season while competing in the World Endurance Championship. For the 2020-21 season, Nato stepped into the ROKiT Venturi team picking up a win at the season finale in Berlin. Despite that win, he finished 18th in the standings and was replaced by Lucas di Grassi for the current campaign. Jaguar then picked up Nato as their reserve driver.
Nato stated, “Although I haven’t driven a Formula E car for over a year, when I get into the Jaguar I-TYPE 5 next weekend, I’ll be fighting for as many points as possible. I want to make the most of this opportunity.” A big opportunity, especially considering much of next season’s grid is yet to be confirmed.
How does this impact Jaguar Racing in Seoul?
Bird’s absence doesn’t dramatically impact Jaguar in the Team Standings. Heading into the season’s final two rounds, the team sits in 4th place, 44 behind DS Techeetah, and 28 points ahead of 6th place Envision Racing. Considering Envision has averaged under 13 points a round, it’s doubtful they can outscore title contender Mitch Evans and a very experienced Norman Nato by that amount.
The 2021-22 season wraps up next weekend with a doubleheader in Seoul on August 13th and 14th.