Nato wins for Venturi as De Vries is crowned Formula E world champion

Formula E

Posted on

| Written by

Norman Nato took his first Formula E victory amidst title contender carnage, while Nyck de Vries held on to win Formula E’s first world title.

Stoffel Vandoorne had taken pole position, Oliver Rowland lining up alongside him – although both were out of title contention by that point.

Of the title contenders, Mitch Evans had qualified best – placing his Jaguar third on the grid, the only other serious challenger for the championship in the top ten Jake Dennis in a distant ninth.

However, it wasn’t to be – Evans’ car failed to get away on the grid, the powertrain going to ‘default’ mode and leaving him stranded for Edoardo Mortara to plough into, unable to avoid the car. Mortara and Evans lined up second and third in the title but by the time they would have crossed the start line were out of the race.

A safety car was initially called, before the race was red flagged while Mortara and Evans were extracted from their cars, with 43 minutes remaining in the race time. Evans and Mortara were able to get out of their cars and sent for precautionary medical checks.

A safety car restart was called and drivers were given the one-minute warning to line up at the end of the pit lane. However, due to needing to re-instate ambulance positions around the track, there was a significant delay while drivers sat in rapidly heating-up cars, waiting.

Stoffel Vandoorne led the field away on the restart but Jake Dennis immediately also left title contention, his car seeming to just fail to rotate around turn one, hitting the wall and crashing out. A full course yellow was called, with 40 minutes remaining.

Racing restarted with just under 37 minutes remaining, Vandoorne still leading from Rowland.

Attack Mode had been set as two activations lasting four minutes, unlike yesterday’s single eight-minute period, with Nato the first to activate it, holding fourth position and then taking third when Alexander Sims took his own first Attack Mode.

Title-leader De Vries had moved up to seventh, running well into the points from starting 13th, with 30 minutes remaining. He was able to use cars activating Attack Mode to progress but with both of his own activations remaining.

Nato, in the final minute of his Attack Mode, was able to overtake Vandoorne for the lead with 29 minutes remaining, Sims following him through and Rowland – also in Attack Mode – pushing the Mercedes down to fourth.

Tom Blomqvist, who had qualified fifth in his NIO 333 car – the least competitive on the grid – was the man to stop De Vries rise up the ranks. After losing a place to the (at the time) champion-elect, Blomqvist overtook him on track and forced De Vries into a battle with him for several laps.

With 16 minutes to go the safety car was deployed after a battle between Lucas Di Grassi and Antonio Felix da Costa tangled into turn two, Di Grassi pushing Da Costa into the wall. Di Grassi was given a drive-through penalty for the contact, although by that point was long out of any points contention.

Racing restarted with 12 minutes remaining and Nato got away in the lead but under major pressure from Rowland and Sims. De Vries had moved up to fourth by this point and with none of the front runnings having any Attack Mode remaining, was within touching distance of a race win as well as the title.

De Vries made a move on Sims that allowed André Lotterer through as well but Sims fought back into turn two and fed De Vries back through the pack, the move costing De Vries a fall to seventh. The Mercedes cars almost collided, as De Vries was passed by Vandoorne but Vandoorne was able to take the place and move forward past both Porsches to take third from Alex Sims, using his final Attack Mode activation.

With two minutes remaining De Vries made a move to overtake Wehrlein – even though he didn’t need to move any further forward to take the title, Wehrlein defending hard and the two colliding to bend De Vries’ steering.

Lotterer made a move on Sims for fourth and the two ran alongside each other, wheels locked together and damaging their bodywork. Although Lotterer got through, Sims stayed in hot pursuit.

On the final lap, De Vries found himself in more trouble as Sam Bird was able to pass him for seventh place, De Vries saying he felt like “a target” on track.

Nato led Rowland and Vandoorne home to take a victory for Venturi, De Vries’ eight-place finish enough to secure him Formula E’s first world driver championship.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Race result

PositionDriverTeam
1Norman NatoVenturi
2Oliver RowlandNissan e.Dams
3Stoffel VandoorneMercedes
4André LottererPorsche
5Alexander SimsMahindra
6Pascal WehrleinPorsche
7Sam BirdJaguar
8Nyck de VriesMercedes
9René RastAudi
10Tom BlomqvistNIO 333
11Jean-Eric VergneDS Techeetah
12Robin FrijnsVirgin
13Alex LynnMahindra
14Sebastien BuemiNissan e.Dams
15Max GüntherBMWi Andretti
16Joel ErikssonDragon Penske
17Nick CassidyVirgin
18Sergio Sette CamaraDragon Penske
19Oliver TurveyNIO 333
20Lucas di GrassiAudi
DNFAntonio Felix da CostaDS Techeetah
DNFJake DennisBMWi Andretti
DNFEdoardo MortaraVenturi
DNFMitch EvansJaguar

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Formula E


Browse all Formula E articles

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories Formula ETags , ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 12 comments on “Nato wins for Venturi as De Vries is crowned Formula E world champion”

    1. Amazing and exciting season, beside the few farces e.g. in Valencia.
      Hard to say who deserved it most this year. Nyck got two wins where the other contenders had 1 or 0. Again, the win in Valencia doesn’t really count (beside the points haha).
      A shame for the big final that Evans and Mortara crashed – I think it would have been one of the most exciting races of the year without that.

      Overall, FE is really something to be excited about, looking forward. Just get rid of FanBoost already and drop the double headers (post Covid).

    2. A shame the championship was more or less decided within seconds of the start, but that was an enthralling race.

      Well done to Norman Nato, who has had a few good outings this season without ever really stringing things together before now, and of course to Nyck de Vries, a worthy world champion. Though he had me very worried in the last few laps with a few moves he ought to have stayed out of!

      1. A shame the championship was more or less decided within seconds of the start, but that was an enthralling race.

        Basically this. Its a shame that the championship was settled in the most anticlimactic way. Good job the race itself was entertaining once it finally got going.

        Can’t knock De Vires, he was the most consistent over the season in a year when no one was consistent. I guess it puts him on par with Keke Rosberg!

        1. De Vires, he was the most consistent over the season in a year when no one was consistent. I guess it puts him on par with Keke Rosberg!

          One can say a lot about him, but one thing he surely isn’t, is having been the most consistent over the season. A ‘keke’ he sure wasn’t, as nyck had (jointly) the most wins where keke had 5 others in front of him.

    3. Someone is called Nato?

      1. A very good wood used instead of mahogany in guitar making…

      2. In the future he’s the General Secretary.

    4. de Vries had two crucial wins. That made a big difference compared to his other results.

      1. He was second twice too.
        He was in the top 6 of the championship continuously, which means he had to start in the first of the 4 qualifying sessions all the time, when the track is still green, so he often found himself in the midfield or the back on the grid.
        He certainly did not get this title for free.

        1. A lot of the times one could qualify quite well from group 1, but a lot of the times the drivers/teams messed up, and nyck himself has said having done so, eg in berlin. Also, he wasn’t

          in the top 6 of the championship continuously, which means he had to start in the first of the 4 qualifying sessions all the time

          , it happened 80% of the time, not “all the time”.

    5. even though he didn’t need to move any further forward to take the title

      Apparently Mercedes needed that to win their title also

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
    If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.