August 2017

A post-race disqualification costs Rowland in Spa

Championship leader Charles Leclerc took top spot in the weekend’s FIA Formula 2 Championship free practice session at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Oliver Rowland grabbed third spot behind Prema Racing driver Antonio Fuoco.

Oliver Rowland:

“I’m a bit disappointed as with the rain I think it was probably a chance to fight for pole, but at the same time I’m there for the fight tomorrow, and this track can be pretty interesting when it comes to the race.”

Feature race 

Rowland was disqualified from the feature race along with Charles Leclerc after both drivers' cars failed post-race scrutineering due to excessive wear to the underfloor plank. 

According to the F2 statement, "Both cars were subjected to the usual post-race scrutineering checks, which is when the damage was noted on both vehicles, the planks were removed and measured, with the thickness recorded as below the allowable limit."

DAMS boss Francois Sicard, when asked on the disqualification, said:

"We think we damaged the plank on the kerb, maybe outside of Blanchimont or something and it wore out the plank a lot and we were below the limit.

"It happened also to Charles, so at least it balanced the problem for the championship.

"It's always a shame to lose such a podium, but we have to accept the decision of the stewards."

The decision means Artem Markelov was promoted to gain the race victory.

Sprint race

Starting from the back of the grid after being disqualified, Oliver Rowland managed to secure a credible 6th spot. 

It was Brazilian driver Sergio Sette Camara who claimed victory with a superb drive to capture his FIA Formula 2 Championship maiden win.

After a strong start, Rowland managed to lead rival Charles Leclerc at the end of the first lap, with the rivals changing positions all race long before Leclerc made his move, meaning the Briton was not among the points.

The weekend results means Leclerc holds a 54 point lead over Rowland in the standings, and Markelov with his race win, now trails Rowland by just 8 points.