“Norman Celebrates”

© Leigh O'Gorman
© Leigh O’Gorman

It is a moment all drivers treasure deeply. Having crossed the finish line victorious, the winning pilot will take to the slow down lap, collecting discarded tyre rubber and swathes of dirt along the way.

Once this task is complete, the racer will pull into a separate Parc Fermé, housed specifically for the top three.

As the victor ascends from the cockpit of the machine, arms rise aloft for patient photographers and TV cameramen, before throwing his weight – and joy – upon the delighted mechanics, engineers and assorted team personnel.

In this instance, it was Frenchman Norman Nato who took the plaudits for the DAMS team. Yet Nato’s season has been a picture of inconsistencies, plagued by anonymous runs and technical maladies.
Victory in Formula Renault 3.5 at the Hungaroring (pictured) and Monaco have been brilliant stand-outs; however much of the rest of the season has been one frustrating struggle after another.

Yes, his performances in those two race wins were notable, but he all too often disappeared over a race weekend, rendering moments like these few and far between.

And while his Red Bull backed teammate, Carlos Sainz Jr., is busy leading the championship, Nato may need to face the possibility that Formula One may not be what lies ahead for him.

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