June 2017

Rowland criticises post-race time penalty

Following his victory in Monaco, Rowland endured a tougher time in Azerbaijan.

After colliding with the barriers in Turn 1 after a fast start. The Renault Sport F1 Development driver recovered to cross the line and secure ninth on the race one grid.

Oliver Rowland: 

“It was a difficult practice session for us, I was quick early on, but hit the barriers. Qualifying wasn’t great either, I hadn’t had a lot of track time and could only manage ninth.”

Feature race 

In the feature race Rowland was handed a time penalty after failing to slow sufficiently through yellow flags.

The Brit managed to secure fourth, but the penalty for posting his fastest sector under yellow flags, dropped the 24-year-old down into seventh place. 

Championship leader Charles Leclerc, wrapped up first in impressive fashion recording a time of 1:54.025 ahead of Nyck De Vries and Nicholas Latifi.

Oliver Rowland:

"It's absolutely ridiculous and to be fair to the stewards they said 'look we understand it's not really that fair and that at this sort of level we need something a bit better' and they're going to look into that. 

“I understand from their side they have to give equal treatment to everybody, so I get that but it's a bit wrong in some ways. But that's the way it goes sometimes so I can't really dwell on it too much."

Sprint race

After an impressive start in the sprint race, a gearbox problem banished Rowland’s chances of points as Arden's Norman Nato secured victory in a thrilling encounter. 

The 24-year-old’s race ended abruptly when he encountered complications at the beginning of lap eight, costing the DAMS driver valuable points in the FIA Formula 2 Championship.

Nato went on to surpass Rowland and capture his first Championship race victory despite leader Charles Leclerc taking the chequered flag, as the Ferrari junior driver, like Rowland in the feature race was issued with a ten-second time penalty for failing to slow under yellow flags. 

Oliver Rowland:

“In the Sprint Race we could’ve won if it weren’t for the problem. We will bounce back from this in Austria, I’m sure of it.”

Rowland now sits on 80 pts, 42 pts behind runaway leader Charles Leclerc.