Oliver Rowland landed victory in the FIA Formula 2 Feature race in Monaco. The 24-year-old secured his first Formula 2 career win and the first Formula 2 win for DAMS in the process outlasting Artem Markelov and Nobuharu Matsushita to take top spot on the podium in a gripping race.
With qualifying being pivotal at Monaco, and with Monégasque driver Charles Leclerc securing his third pole position in three rounds, Rowland left himself plenty to do.
Starting in third, the DAMS driver recovered from a somewhat sluggish start to grab the win against the odds. With Charles Leclerc having to pit on lap 7 as soon as the safety car was deployed, Rowland became the leader, driving a faultless race to secure his first Formula 2 career win.
The victory sat Rowland in second place in the championship, closing the gap on Charles Leclerc to just three points.
“It’s been a while coming! It feels great, and to win here is mega special, every year I’ve been here I’ve been slightly unlucky. It’s never been that kind but I think today it repaid me, but right now I can’t explain how good it feels to win this.”
There was disappointment and misfortune in the sprint race for Rowland as Dutchman Nyck De Vries dominated from the off at the Circuit de Monaco, securing his maiden Formula 2 triumph for Rapax.
A clash with Spanish driver Sergio Canamasas meant the DAMS driver could only secure 9th finishing outside the points.
The Briton raced on but remains second in the championship after receiving the hit from Canamasas. The Trident driver was forced to pit for a new front wing and eventually finished the race in 17th, being handed a 10 second time penalty for prompting the collision with Rowland.
A pole and two DNFs over the weekend means Rowland has now closed the gap in the Drivers’ Championship to just three points behind Charles Leclerc.
“it’s all about getting as many points as you can, making sure that you’re there and can build on everything, build the confidence within the team, and to try to make a good season for them and for me, so it’s a positive weekend.”