July 17, 2017

Nato on the podium again at Silverstone for Pertamina Arden

Norman Nato took his third podium of the FIA Formula 2 season at Silverstone with 2nd position in the Feature Race.

Pertamina Arden scored their third podium of the FIA Formula 2 season courtesy of Norman Nato taking 2nd position in the Feature Race at the Silverstone British Grand Prix.

Arden Motorsport came into their home race aiming for a strong showing, which is exactly what Norman delivered right from the off at the home of British Motorsport. Norman delivered a brilliant qualifying lap in his final run to take 3rd position on the grid, just behind home favourite Oliver Rowland and championship leader Charles Leclerc. Teammate Sean Gelael had a more difficult session with traffic and had his fastest lap ruined - therefore he started from 18th on the grid for the Feature Race on the Saturday.

At the start of the Feature Race, the initial start was aborted due too three stallers in the midpack. On the second time of asking, the grid was slippery off the racing line due to earlier rain that hit the circuit just before Formula One Qualifying. This played into Norman's hands, as Rowland's getaway was compromised, allowing the Pertamina Arden driver to sweep through into 2nd place going into turn one - fending off his rival through the loop section of the circuit. Sean meanwhile made a great start to elevate himself up eight position and into 11th position, later elevating himself up into the final points position by lap four.
Norman made his pitstop for the harder compound tyre on the end of lap 6, maintaining his position over rival Rowland who pitted at the same time - joining the pack still in a net 2nd place. Sean made his pitstop two laps later, likewise taking the harder compound tyre to run until the end of the race.

Rowland piled on the pressure on Norman going through the next trio of laps, always running in the DRS zone for the next four laps. Norman responded by setting the fastest lap on lap 13 to relax the relentless pressure from behind. Race leader Leclerc had an engine fire and was emitting plumes of smoke from the rear of his car - the potential for a victory was on for the battling duo.
Nato and Rowland cut through the drivers on the alternate strategy, still keeping the British driver behind him throughout the race. Leclerc's issue appeared to subside after all drivers had made their pitstops. With six laps to go, Norman still held 2nd position and Sean had moved up to 9th - both running in point scoring positions for the team.

The Pertamina Arden duo held this position until the checkered flag. Norman took his and the team's third podium position of the season after resisting intense pressure in the closing stages of the race. Sean picked up his best finish of the season with 9th and taking two championship points.

The sprint race saw Noman start from 7th and Sean from 9th, due to the top eight finishers from the Feature Race being reversed on the grid. Norman maintained 7th position at the start of the race, with Sean moving up just behind him into 8th position to get both of the Pertamina Arden machines into the Sprint Race points paying positions.

The pair maintained positions as the race wore on in team formation without threat from behind, albeit unable to eat into the gap ahead to Leclerc in 6th position. The safety car was deployed with a couple of laps to go due to an accident behind. However on the restart, the field got really bunched up behind Rowland which caused confusion behind. Sean was punted out of 8th position from behind, denying him his hard earned points position.

Norman managed to hold onto 7th position at the flag - however this became 6th in the classifcation due to a penalty applied to Rowland from an incident earlier in the race. Sean was classified in 16th position after the late race drama denied him a double points score.

Pertamina Arden enjoyed a successful home race, taking a podium and three points scores over the two races. Norman leaves Silverstone 6th overall in the championship standings after taking his third podium of the season. Sean is 17th overall in the standings after getting his second points score of the season. The team are 6th overall in the teams championship on the 60 points.

FIA Formula 2 heads to the Hungaroring in Budapest, where the second half of the season will begin on the 28-30 July - just before the annual summer break.

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