Championship leader Charles Leclerc led the way in Formula 2 practice at Silverstone in front of Oliver Rowland. DAMS driver Rowland managed to power into top spot as the session advanced to the midway mark.
However the impressive Leclerc bounced back imminently with a time of 1m40.793s – Rowland recording a time of 1m41.010s.
“The car felt very well balanced and it’s great to start on the front row at your home race in front of the amazing Silverstone crowd. Obviously I’m not really happy with being second but I’m there to fight, and we know we have really good race pace, and I’m looking forward to it.”
The ever impressive Leclerc overcame a mid-race engine concern to claim his fourth Formula 2 Feature Race win at Silverstone, winning by nearly 9 seconds ahead of Norman Nato, with Oliver Rowland capturing third spot.
After struggling to get off the line, Rowland battled hard to record another podium, whilst also managing to control a severe tyre issue when it became clear that the soft rubber would not last the distance in the 28-lap race.
Rowland distressed Nato at times during the early stages of the race, being aggressive on lap eight - but could not manage to find a way past the Arden driver.
“It was a long race I thought maybe I could get closer on the option to the leaders, but unfortunately, I could not get close enough to really attack. That was a bit frustrating. That was nothing more we could do. We tried our best and got another podium.”
In the sprint race it was Rowland’s DAMS teammate Nicholas Latifi who captured his first FIA Formula 2 win with a dominant display.
Rowland was issued a 20 second time penalty by the race stewards after being adjudicated to have obstructed his opponents at the restart after a late safety car.
The additional penalty on top of a previous 5 second penalty for imposing Artem Markelov off the track on lap 1 saw the 24-year-old end the race in 17th spot outside the points.
“After such a good start I ruined today's race. Sorry to Artem for lap one, and the safety car restart. It wasn't acceptable and it won't happen again. Well done Nicholas Latifi who done a super job.”
The significance of the weekend’s results mean Rowland has now drifted to third spot in the championship, four points behind Markelov and a vast seventy-one points behind Prema Racing’s Charles Leclerc.