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Sacha Fenestraz: “Diriyah is one of the toughest tracks on the calendar”
Rookie Sacha Fenestraz is feeling “really excited” about this weekend’s Diriyah E-Prix, with the Frenchman having worked hard in the simulator to prepare for “one of the toughest tracks on the calendar”, the Riyadh Street Circuit.
Diriyah plays host to rounds two and three of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, with this weekend set to see Gen3 feature in the Middle East for the first time. Fenestraz goes into the weekend feeling “really upbeat”, with the Nissan Formula E Team driver having featured in the points for the vast majority of the race in Mexico City, before an issue saw him tumble down the order.
The Frenchman clearly has the pace to feature in the points; however, he will also need to be impeccably tidy to claim a top-ten finish this weekend, with a mistake typically resulting in a trip into a wall.
Fenestraz is ready for the first double-header of the year with the circuit looking “like a lot of fun”.
“I’m really excited for Diriyah and the next event in this amazing championship. Even though we had some issues in Mexico and didn’t score points, we still showed what we are capable of in qualifying and in the race. Diriyah is one of the toughest tracks on the calendar – I’ve been working hard on the simulator and it’s a proper street track with tight walls and fast changes of direction.
“I’m feeling really upbeat following the first round, so I’m hoping to improve on our performance and use all the knowledge we picked up there. It will be challenging as it’s another new track for me, but it looks like a lot of fun and I can’t wait to get out there and give it my best.”
“We’re going to have to be mentally and physically ready” – Norman Nato
On the other side of the Nissan garage, Norman Nato will be hoping to make it past the first lap in Diriyah, with the Frenchman’s returning race in the all-electric series having ended on the first lap in Mexico City.
Nato was unfortunately hit by Robin Frijns, with the French driver having been forced to retire from the race as a result of the damage. Prior to the crash, his weekend hadn’t been great at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, with plenty of room for improvement this weekend. His record at the Riyadh Street Circuit isn’t great, with the Frenchman having finished well outside the points at the double-header in Season Seven; however, he at least has an understanding of the challenges that the track presents the drivers.
With that in mind, Nato has warned that his side must be “mentally and physically ready” for the gruelling double-header, where keeping the car out of the wall and most importantly running, could provide an exceptional reward come the end of the races.
“Diriyah is the first double-header of the season so we’re going to have to be mentally and physically ready for the challenge, as it’s tough for both drivers and teams. It’s also the only time we’ll race at night this season, which is really cool visually. After a tough start in Mexico, we’re aiming for a more positive weekend, as we know we have the potential in the team and the car to be in the top-10.
“The Diriyah track is a tough one, the grip levels are constantly changing, but it’s really fun and satisfying when you put together a good lap. I’m looking forward to it and hopefully we can come away from the weekend with some points.”Credit: Nissan Formula E Team
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