MEXICO CITY, Mexico – Nissan Formula E Team showed strong potential in the opening race of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship thanks to Sacha Fenestraz's excellent qualifying display at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
The Franco-Argentine racer put in a good performance in the Group Stage of qualifying to progress to the Duels, narrowly missing out on a semi-final berth. Starting eighth, Fenestraz gained a position on the opening lap with an excellent move, and ran as high as sixth, proving his ability in his first race for the team. In a tightly contested race, the 23-year-old continued to set a good pace, before a system issue regarding energy management saw him drop out of the top-10 during the closing stages.
Norman Nato also had a positive start in the #17 car, but was caught up in an incident and forced to retire on the first lap.
"It's a little bit frustrating because we could see throughout the weekend that the car was strong," said Tommaso Volpe, general manager Nissan Formula E and managing director Nissan Formula E Team. "Sacha did an amazing job in qualifying to reach the duels, he showed great potential and almost made it into the semi-finals. In the race he was running well and putting in good lap times before an energy management issue at the end of the race. His performance deserved points, so we are obviously disappointed, but we have to move on to the next event and look for better there. We know we have factors to improve on but it's good to see that we are starting from a strong base, so we will analyze what happened today and build towards stronger results in Diriyah."
Season 9 of Formula E returns at the end of the month, with the double-header in Diriyah taking place on 27-28 January.
"I was really happy to make it through to the Duels in qualifying, the competition is really tough so we did a great job and almost made it into the semi-final. The race was a bit frustrating, as we definitely had the potential to score points. Towards the end, we had an issue with the energy management. We'll look to find out what happened and correct it for the next race, but despite not scoring points it was a positive weekend, we made a big step between FP2 and qualifying and we know the areas we need to improve on."
"It wasn't the race we expected or hoped for. In FP2 we were feeling positive, the pace was good but we didn't quite get the set-up right for qualifying, which cost us a bit of time. In the race we were hit on Lap 1 and had to retire with damage. It's frustrating because we need all the track time possible to learn about the new car, but we still leave Mexico with more data and more understanding on what we need to do to improve. We'll put this one behind us and turn our attention to preparing for Diriyah in two weeks' time."
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About Nissan in Formula E
Nissan made its all-electric racing debut in Season 5 (2018/19) of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, becoming the first and only Japanese manufacturer to enter the series.
In Season 7 (2020/21), Nissan announced its long-term involvement in Formula E and its commitment to the Gen3 era, which will run from Season 9 (2022/23) through to the end of Season 12 (2025/26) of the all-electric racing series.
In April 2022, Nissan acquired the e.dams race team, with the Japanese automaker taking full ownership of its involvement in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
In June 2022, Nissan announced it would supply its Nissan EV powertrain technology to McLaren Racing for the entirety of the Formula E Gen3 era.
For Season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, the Nissan Formula E drivers will be Norman Nato and Sacha Fenestraz.
Nissan races in Formula E to bring the excitement and fun of zero-emission electric vehicles to a global audience. As part of its goal to achieve carbon neutrality across its operations and the life cycle of its products by 2050, Nissan intends to electrify every all-new vehicle offering by the early 2030s in key markets. The Japanese automaker aims to bring its expertise in transferring knowledge and technology between the racetrack and road for better electric vehicles for customers.
About Formula E
The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship became the first global sport to be certified with a net zero carbon footprint from inception back in 2020, having invested in certified climate-protecting projects in all race markets to offset emissions from every season of electric racing.
All cars in the championship are powered by electricity, with the series acting as a competitive platform to test and develop the latest in electric technology.
The World's greatest manufacturers race against each other on street circuits and Formula E promotes the adoption of sustainable mobility in city centres in a bid to combat air pollution and lessen the effects of climate change.
Maria De Juana
Head of Communications, Formula E, Nissan Motor Co.
Phone: +33-6 17 36 37 61