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Nato to replace injured Bird in Seoul

Norman Nato will be making a comeback to Formula E with Jaguar in the upcoming Seoul E-Prix.

The French driver, who has been the team’s test and reserve driver this season, will be driving the #10 car in place of Sam Bird.

Bird had been taken to hospital for precautionary checks after an accident on the opening lap of the second London E-Prix, with an x-ray revealing that he had a fracture on his left hand.

Jaguar confirmed that Bird will be having an operation to repair the fracture.

Nato had previously competed for Venturi last season, winning the final race of the season in Berlin before being replaced by Lucas di Grassi.

Bird was disappointed to be missing the season finale, saying, “I’m devastated not to be driving in the final two rounds of the season in Seoul, particularly as it would have been my 100th race in Formula E.

“I need to spend the next few weeks recovering from the operation on my left hand, so I am fully fit for testing and season nine.

“I have confidence in Norman, he is a race winner and I’m sure he’ll bring some great points home for Jaguar TCS Racing.”

As well as missing what would have been his 100th race in the series, Bird will also end the season without a win for the first time.

Nato himself was understanding of the situation he was in and said, “Firstly I want to wish Sam the speediest of recoveries.

“As a reserve driver, I’ve been with the team every step of the way this season.

“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.”

James Barclay, the team principal, highlighted just how incredible Bird’s drive in London was, adding, “We are hugely disappointed for Sam and that he won’t be competing next weekend in Seoul.

“It should have been his 100th Formula E race and his drive in London was nothing short of heroic, to drive through considerable pain and a slow puncture shows how much of a fighter he is.

“The priority now though is for his operation and focussing on a full recovery ahead of Gen3 testing and racing again in January.”

“As a team we all have full faith in Norman to deliver valuable points for Jaguar TCS Racing. He won the season finale last year and is determined to help us fight for every place in the teams’ standings.”


Rob Lomas

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