Nato wins first FR3.5 race in Monte-Carlo
25 May 2014 – Norman Nato converted pole position into victory with a measured drive in Sunday's Formula Renault 3.5 race on the streets of Monte-Carlo. The DAMS driver, whose win is his first in the category, took the chequered flag directly ahead of Tech 1 rival Marco Sørensen, while ISR driver Jazeman Jaafar completed the podium.
As the action got underway in the Principality, Nato made a clean start to hold his lead into the first corner, while Sørensen got the jump on Jaafar.
Behind, Oliver Rowland went side by side with Carlos Sainz Jr. for fourth, but the DAMS driver, who was hit with a two-place grid penalty for blocking in qualifying, held firm and fended off the Fortec man.
There was drama for Rowland's Fortec team-mate, Sergey Sirotkin, who stalled on the grid and fell to the back of the field. Although he got going, the Russian ended his race in the Anthony Noghes wall after just six laps.
Matthieu Vaxivière was the only other retirement, the Lotus driver retiring after contact at the first corner.
Although Sørensen, who had initially dropped back, cut the gap to Nato in the closing stages of the race, the latter's triumph never looked in doubt, giving DAMS its third victory of the weekend after double GP2 success.
Jaafar, Sainz Jr. and Rowland crossed the line close together in positions three to five, almost ten seconds clear of the battle between Zoël Amberg (AVF) and reigning Formula Renault 2.0 champion Pierre Gasly (Arden).
The final points went to Strakka's Will Stevens, Zeta's Roberto Merhi and Pons driver Meindert van Buuren.
The fourth round of the 2014 season takes place in Belgium on the weekend of May 31 - June 1