|Norman Nato has had to endure two difficult weekends in the last two rounds of the 2016 GP2 Series. At Hockenheim he was forced to retire in both races when he was the innocent victim of contact with other drivers while at Spa, in the Saturday race he was just seven laps from a finish on the podium when his car stopped on track suffering from overheating caused by debris on the track. On Sunday, starting from 21st he drove a very strong race to make up 13 places and finish 8th but his reward was just a single point. Despite these problems Norman is still lying 8th in the standings and a strong weekend could see his Championship aspirations back on course.
Below Norman talks about his Spa races and looks forward to the challenge of Monza this weekend.
Norman, Spa was a difficult weekend for you. The pace was there and you looked very strong in the feature race until your radiator was hit by debris and your car suddenly stopped. Starting from 21st on Sunday you had a fantastic race to take a point, finishing in 8th. How was the weekend from your perspective?
We missed a bit of speed in qualifying compared to the Prema cars, but we clearly had the pace in both races to fight for victory. During race Race 1 on Option tyres we were quicker than Pierre Gasly, who was leading the race. On Prime tyres we were on the same pace after the pit-stop, but it looks like we were better in term of tyre degradation.
GP2 is already back on track this week in Monza. Spa and Monza have similarities like the high speed corners Eau Rouge and the Parabolica. How would you compare these two race tracks and what are the main differences between them?
You can't really compare these two tracks as it will be different for the car as in Monza we normally run with low down force which makes it quite difficult to exploit the car at the limit on brakes and fast corners.
It’s the long straights and high-speed corners that make the Autodromo di Monza, the so-called “Temple of Speed”, so special. What are the requirements for car and driver given the characteristics of this legendary Italian circuit?
It's one of the quickest tracks of the year for GP2 in terms of top speed. It's always difficult, first to have a good start, and then to find the right balance between being aggressive to gain some positions but without any incidents. Even if you start from the back of the grid you can jump on the podium with a combination of good strategy and good overtaking maneuvers on the long straights.
What are your expectations and goals for the upcoming weekend in Italy?
As in every time I jump in the car, the target is to be the quickest on track. I was really unlucky the last two races, but I will keep pushing until the end of the championship.