Norman Nato is a French racing driver who currently competes in the European Le Mans Series. He switched to sports car racing in 2018 after spending eight years in single-seater competitions, paving his way from junior championships to the Formula 2.
Beginning of the career
Born in July 1992 in Cannes, Norman Nato began to race karting at the age of six at his home in Cannes and over the years progressed through the categories. Finally, in 2009, his last year in karting, Nato won the French KZ2 Championship and was prepared for the next level.
In 2010, Norman debuted in the Formula 4 Eurocup 1.6 with Autosport Academy. His rookie season in single-seaters was excellent and the Frenchman finished as a runner-up to Stoffel Vandoorne with two wins and a total of eight podiums in his books.
Norman Nato began his racing career in karting
Two years in Formula Renault 2.0
The following season wasn’t as good but that was somewhat expected. Nato raced in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Renault 2.0 NEC with R-Ace GP. After scoring a total of three podiums, Nato finished 11th in the Eurocup and 25th in the NEC. Although the results were modest, that year was important for the talented driver as he picked valuable experience.
Norman nato celebrates victory at Pau, 2012 Formula Renault 2.0 Alps
Norman stayed in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 but switched to RC Formula. He scored a maiden victory in the series and had further three podiums before finishing 4th in the points. At the same time, Nato competed in the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps series and enjoyed a lot of success. After having four wins and other four podiums, Nato finished the campaign as a runner-up to Daniil Kvyat, losing by just three points after crashing into him in the final race of the season.
Norman Nato celebrates victory in the Formula V8 3.5 Series in Monaco
Formula Renault 3.5 Series was the next challenge
In 2013 Nato signed with the DAMS to race in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. He spent two seasons with the French team and enjoyed some success. In his first year in the top tier of Formula Renault, Norman scored modest result and amassed a total of 33 points before finishing 13th overall.
However, the following season was much better. Nato won the race in Monaco and later in the season also won at Hungaroring. Interestingly, those were the only podiums he has scored in 2014 before finishing 7th overall.
Moving to GP2 Series in 2015
Progress to the GP2 Series in 2015 was a logical move. Nato signed with Arden International but the results were somewhat below the expectations. Norman earned points on just four occasions, so he finished the season 18th in the standings.
It was clear that the Cannes-born driver will do better in 2016 and he did so as a member of the Racing Engineering team. Nato won the season-opening race in Barcelona, what was followed by a victory in Monza and other three podiums. Norman finished 5th in the standings, behind Pierre Gasly, Antonio Giovinazzi, Sergey Sirotkin, and Raffaele Marciello, what was a good achievement.
Norman Nato was driving for Pertamina Arden in 2017 Formula 2 Championship
One season in the Formula 2
In 2017, the GP2 Series was rebranded to the FIA Formula 2 Championship. Nato stayed in the series, now as a member of the Pertamina-sponsored Arden International team.
After the clumsy start of the campaign, the Frenchman recovered in the fourth round at Baku and won the Sprint race. It remained his only race in 2017 and he finished ninth in the final points.
Switching to sports car racing in 2018
In 2018, after eight years in single-seater competitions, Nato changed a racing discipline. He joined Racing Engineering in the European Le Mans Series to drive the #24 Oreca. Sharing a car with Olivier Pla and Paul Petit, he won the season-opening race at Circuit Paul Ricard.
In June, Nato made a debut at 24 Hours of Le Mans, as a member of SMP Racing's crew in the #35 Dallara P217 LMP2 prototype, together with Viktor Shaytar and Harrison Newey. They finished 14th overall and 10th in LMP2 class.
In June 2018, Norman Nato made a debut at 24 Hours of Le Mans with SMP Racing