Rowland Wins

Dramatic Feature Race in Hungary

Date:
Sunday
30
July 2017
Circuit:
2017 Hungaroring, HUNGARY
Fastest:
Winner:
Weather:
Date:
Sunday
30
July 2017
Fastest:
Winner:

Championship leader Charles Leclerc lost pole in qualifying, after it was revealed that he was using a part on the car that did not conform to the technical regulations. The penalty allowed Oliver Rowland to start the feature race in top spot, alongside title competitor Artem Markelov.

Oliver Rowland:

“This morning was positive in free practice, hopefully tomorrow we can fight at the start, at the start of the year we were too far behind but now we can, so the focus has to be on the start and hopefully we’ll be good in the race, as usual.”

Feature race

Oliver Rowland landed the result he was looking for after winning a frenzied FIA Formula 2 feature race at the Hungaroring.

The 24-year-old held on for victory even though initially losing the lead, surviving a late onslaught from Artem Markelov to secure victory ahead of DAMS teammate Nicholas Latifi and Nyck De Vries.

In an enthralling race, Rowland was made to work by Markelov and Latifi but secured his second win of the season, after an anxious late battle. 

The win moves the Briton closer to championship leader Charles Leclerc recording a time of 58:37.062s.

Oliver Rowland:

“I’m now second in the championship, I’ve closed the gap a little bit to Charles, but we’ve still got a bit of work to do on qualifying. As a team and a car the result of the 1-2 shows we’ve come a long way and done a good job.

“I had a bit of bad luck in Baku when I broke down when I was leading, but I think the qualifying recently has been extremely positive, so I’m quite happy.”

Sprint race

In the sprint race Japanese driver Nobuharu Matsushita soared to victory at Hungaroring. The ART Grand Prix driver steamed ahead of the field to win by over 4 seconds from Oliver Rowland.

Second place concluded an outstanding weekend for Rowland, with the DAMS driver managing a great late race pass on the outside of Dutch racing driver Nyck de Vries ensuring he had his finest weekend in the championship so far.

Ferrari F1 junior and championship leader Charles Leclerc managed to secure fourth, ahead of Norman Nato and Nicolas Latifi, meaning his championship lead has now been cut to 50 points over Rowland.

Oliver Rowland:

“What a fantastic weekend. 1st and 2nd over the two races, it doesn't get much better than that.”

“After Silverstone I was disappointed with myself after race 2 as there were too many errors on my part, probably because it was my home race and I was enthusiastic. But it was starting to get to the stage where Charles was gone and that I was fighting for 2nd, and I didn’t want to believe that. Obviously anything can happen, and after this weekend we’re right back in there: we’re not quite with him but we’re closing, and if we keep this pace we can challenge him to the end of the year.”

Photo: FIA F2 Media Service.

GP2 Series
Round
7
4.381 km

Silverstone Sprint Race

Penalty costs Rowland

Date:
Tuesday
18
July 2017
Circuit:
2017 Silverstone, UNITED KINGDOM
Fastest:
Winner:
Weather:

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.

Oliver Rowland:

“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.”

Feature race

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. 

Oliver Rowland:

“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.”

Sprint race

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.

Oliver Rowland:

“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.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
6
5.891 km

Rowland pleased with

solid weekend in Austria

Date:
Monday
10
July 2017
Circuit:
2017 Red Bull Ring, AUSTRIA
Fastest:
Winner:
Weather:

Championship contender Oliver Rowland started from fourth in qualifying with a time of 1:13.903 as runaway leader Charles Leclerc claimed his fifth pole in a row. The Monegasque driver was in unstoppable form clocking up a time of 1:13.396 to easily secure pole position ahead of his rivals.

Oliver Rowland: 

“At the moment it’s quite hard to catch him (Leclerc), especially with his pace in qualifying: we need to address that, and if we can start taking 4 points and the feature race we’re not even halfway in, so there’s no reason why we can’t turn it around. We made a good step here in qualifying and the race again, and we’re finding stuff all the time, so fingers crossed as it’s a home race next time and it’s only 50 points: one bad weekend for him and a good one for us and we’re back in it, but we need to stay focused on our job.”

Feature race

In the feature race Rowland made an uninspiring start on the option tyres and was chased down by Alexander Albon and Nobuharu Matsushita as well as his DAMS team-mate Latifi. 

The 24-year-old attempted to make his strategy work, overtaking prime drivers and working tirelessly to close the gap, but the effort had taken a toll on Rowland’s tyres, allowing his rivals to regain a march on the DAMS driver. 

Antonio Fuoco got through the Briton on lap 33, but it was championship leader Charles Leclerc who was too strong and extended his lead with a time of 52m21.629.

Rowland’s late charge through the field managed to secure him a credible 4th spot, recording a time of 52m27.311.

Sprint race

Artem Markelov dominated the morning’s FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race with Rowland securing a worthy podium finish in third behind Thai-British driver Alexander Albon, as championship leader Charles Leclerc crashed out.

Rowland tracked Albon for large parts of the race, eventually being close to a takeover on lap 12 before falling away towards the finish.

Unfortunately Rowland couldn’t pass Albon due to using a different gear in turn 2 to get off the corner, but applied plenty of pressure onto the ART Grand Prix driver, eventually securing solid points, setting a string of personal best laps in the process. 

After the weekend, Leclerc extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 151 points ahead of Rowland who now sits in second place on 102. 

Oliver Rowland:

“Yesterday was pretty good and I finished 4th, but I had a bad start again today and had a problem with the clutch again on the green flag lap, but then I had probably the best start I’ve ever done, so it’s a bit confusing. I’m happy with the finish considering Charles didn’t manage to finish, and generally with the pace at the end I was very strong and generally very happy. It’s nice to get another podium as I haven’t been on since Monaco, now hopefully my home race at Silverstone next week I can push on and get some wins.”

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
5
4.326 km

Rowland criticises

post-race time penalty

Date:
Tuesday
27
June 2017
Circuit:
2017 Baku City Circuit, AZERBAIJAN
Fastest:
Winner:
Weather:

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. 

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
4
6.003 km

Maiden FIA F2 Victory

in Monaco

Date:
Tuesday
30
May 2017
Circuit:
2017 Circuit de Monaco, MONTE CARLO
Fastest:
Winner:
Weather:

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. 

Oliver Rowland: 

“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.”

Sprint race

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. 

Oliver Rowland:

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.”

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
3
3.337 km

Two Podiums in Barcelona

For Rowland

Date:
Monday
15
May 2017
Circuit:
2017 Circuit de Catalunya, SPAIN
Fastest:
Winner:
Weather:

A slow start in practice and qualifying for Rowland allowed Charles Leclerc to sneak pole position at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona. But restoration in sunlit conditions on the last lap cemented the 24-year-old a respectable 6th place with a qualifying time of 1:29.744.

Oliver Rowland:

“I need to improve my qualifying, me and the team need to improve our performances because the first two rounds have been a bit strange in qualifying. if we start on the first two rows I’m sure we can be on the podium every weekend because we’ve been starting from 6th, 8th, 10th and finishing on the podium, so if I start at the front I’ll win races, and that’s the target to improve. It’s Monaco next, a technical track and I like it, and I think the driver makes a big difference there so I’m looking forward to it.”

Feature & Sprint Race: 

In the afternoon’s feature race under warm conditions, Rowland made Charles Leclerc work tirelessly to capture third spot at Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona. The race came alive for Rowland on lap 13 as the Renault development driver remitted Alexander Albon for the lead. It wasn’t until pitting on lap 29 that Rowland then handed top spot back to Ferrari F1 junior driver, Leclerc. Rowland wasn’t to be denied though, cutting his way back through the pack after his pit stop for another podium finish.

Oliver Rowland:

“Today was a good result in the end starting from 6th. I suppose I am a little disappointed that I didn’t win, but I think we did the maximum with the car given the situation with the safety car and I’m happy with the team and how everything is going.”

In the sprint event, Rowland again came alive capturing his second podium finish of the weekend in second spot behind Honda-backed Nobuharu Matsushita. Despite drama at the back of the field where the safety car was deployed, Matsushita captured the lead and went on to claim his first victory of the 2017 F2 season, 3.3 seconds clear of Rowland in second. 24-year-old Rowland kept pace well, edging ahead of team-mate Nicholas Latif into the hairpin at the end of the back straight to earn a valuable second spot. The two podium finishes for Rowland have now left the DAMS driver in 2nd position in the Drivers’ Championship.

Heading to Monaco, Leclerc sits on 73 points, leading Rowland in the driver standings by 26 pts.

Oliver Rowland:

“The pace was good and I attacked when I could, but you’ve got to be careful in Formula 2 at the moment because if you push for two laps in a row and then overtake you take a lot out of the tyres, so you have to kind of surprise them. Today was Nobu’s race, and I did what I could to score good points for the championship, so I’m happy.”

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
2
4.655 km

First FIA F2 Podium

for Rowland

Date:
Wednesday
19
April 2017
Circuit:
2017 Sakhir International Circuit, BAHRAIN
Fastest:
Winner:
Weather:

Oliver Rowland got his 2017 FIA Formula 2 campaign off to an excellent start with a podium finish in Bahrain (April 14-16).

Free Practice & Qualifying

It was a strong start to the weekend for Rowland, as the 24-year-old BRDC Superstar posted the fastest time in practice, and qualified eighth

Oliver Rowland: “In practice things felt good and I was happy heading into qualifying. The track conditions were very different and I had a couple of issues carried over from practice, which meant we were eighth. It wasn’t a disaster, but I knew we could have been higher.”

Feature & Sprint Race

Rowland fought through the field to fifth in Saturday’s Feature Race, putting him fourth on the grid for the sprint. The 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 champion battled hard throughout the 23-lap race to come home third, giving DAMS their first podium of the F2 era.Having finished just outside the points in 11th on Saturday, Latifi capped off a strong weekend for DAMS, as he stormed through the field to cross the line in a fine fourth. This podium and a fifth-placed-finish in the Feature Race the day before left Rowland in 3rd postion in the Drivers’ Championship.

Oliver Rowland: “In the first race I climbed to fourth, but the tyres went off slightly towards the end and finished fifth. I didn’t have the best of starts on Sunday, but fought back really well and ended up on the podium, which is a great result and I’m happy looking ahead to Barcelona.

François Sicard, Managing Director: “Practice went really well, but qualifying was obviously not what we expected and it was disappointing not to be higher up. Oliver had a strong first race; he made the difference on track and fifth is great. Oliver did a fantastic job to get a podium on Sunday. Overall it was an encouraging start and the points were good, but we are hoping for more in the coming races.” 

Round 2 of the 2017 Formula 2 Championship will take place in Barcelona (May 12/14).

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
1
5.412

Rowland Annouced as

Renault Sport F1 Development Driver

Date:
Thursday
13
April 2017
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Weather:

Renault Sport Formula One Team is happy to announce Renault Sport Academy graduate Oliver Rowland as Development Driver for the 2017 season.

Oliver, who will also contest the FIA Formula 2 Championship with DAMS this year, will fulfil a simulator programme for the team as well as driving on track.

Oliver Rowland:

“My aim has always been to get a role in Formula 1 so it’s great to see all my hard work pay off. The Renault Sport Academy was the perfect training ground and the role of Development Driver is another great step after being within the Renault family for so many years with Formula Renault 2.0 and 3.5 and then the Academy too. I learnt a lot last year including working at Enstone in the simulator, so I feel well prepared for this role. I’m proud to be part of the team and I’ll be working hard to do everything I can to assist the team in their development of the R.S.17.”

Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director, Renault Sport Racing:

“We know Oliver very well and we are very pleased to reward his work with this position with Renault Sport Formula One Team. Development Driver is an important position in a team and it is very interesting to have someone who already knows us.”

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round

Rowland scythes to P11

in Abu Dhabi

Date:
Sunday
27
November 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Alex Lynn (41m 36.580)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland vaulted up the grid to sprint to an 11th place finish in the concluding GP2 Series race of the season at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver, who suffered a deflated tyre in the previous evening’s feature encounter, was therefore forced to start from 19th on the grid for Sunday’s finale.

But Rowland made a lightning getaway off the line, and made up six places on the opening lap up to 13th position.

Having past Racing Engineering’s Jordan King on lap seven, Rowland had work to do to catch the Campos Racing car ahead of Mitch Evans, two seconds up the road.

With Evans soon past the DAMS machine of Nicholas Latifi, Rowland soon reeled the Canadian driver in, passing him on lap 11 and Latifi struggling in the middle stint of the race.

Places remained static until the closing laps, with Russian Time’s Raffaele Marciello now Rowland’s closest rival having been passed by Evans.

Rowland came under attack from a resurgent King on lap 20, the Brit passing both Rowland and Marciello with the trio locked in an intense battle in the closing laps.

However the battle erupted on the final lap of the race, as King took too much speed into the hairpin, spinning Marciello around and enabling Rowland to drive through and take 11th place by the final chequered flag of the season.

DAMS’ Alex Lynn scored race victory ahead of the Rapax of Johnny Cecotto and ART GP machine of Sergei Sirotkin.

By finishing in ninth position, Prema’s Pierre Gasly clinched the Series’ title ahead of team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi.

Rowland’s result leaves him to conclude the season in ninth position in the championship points.

“My start was one of, if not the best, of the season,” said Rowland. “I took a chance with the clutch as I was starting so far back on the grid and it worked perfectly.

“I probably got excited and over-worked my tyres in the middle sector of the race, but it was great to make up the places.

“I couldn’t believe my luck when King took that speed into the hairpin and spun Marciello around. It’s a good result considering yesterday’s result and having to start this final race from the back.”

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 2 Result (Top 10)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Johnny Cecotto (COL)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Nobuharu Matsuhita (JPN)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

Mitch Evans (NZL)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Jordan King (GBR)

DAMS

Rapax

ART Grand Prix

ART Grand Prix

Racing Engineering

Prema

Russian Time

Campos Racing

Prema

Racing Engineering

41m 36.580

+4.945

+6.607

+8.078

+13.375

+16.716

+17.807

+22.609

+23.226

+28.848

Rowland left deflated

in Abu Dhabi

Date:
Saturday
26
November 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Pierre Gasly (59m 14.764)
Weather:

A faulty rear tyre ruined Oliver Rowland’s hopes of a high placed finish in the final GP2 Series feature race of the season at Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver, who qualified in fifth position the previous day, had targeted a top six finish in the cooler evening conditions under the lights in the Middle East.

Starting on the Super Soft compound tyre, Rowland made a good start when the lights went out to move up a single place to fourth past Russian Time’s Artem Markelov who made a slow start from third.

Despite coming under increasing pressure from Markelov in the ensuing handful of laps, Rowland remained in fifth until he pitted on lap seven to bolt on a set of the Medium compound rubber, re-joining in eighth place.

However, Rowland’s left rear tyre was incorrectly fitted to the rim. This resulted in the tyre spinning around the rim and tearing off the valve, causing a deflation. Rowland was unable to bring the car around back to the pit lane, and pulled off the circuit.

Rowland’s misfortune is increased as he will be forced to start Sunday’s sprint race encounter from the back of the grid.

Prema’s Pierre Gasly scored race victory to take the title race down to Sunday’s sprint race finale, as team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi came home fifth. The podium was rounded out with Nobuharu Matsushita (ART GP) in second with Markelov third.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 1 Result (Top 10)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Nobuharu Matsuhita (JPN)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) 

Norman Nato (FRA)

Johnny Cecotto (COL)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Nicholas Latifi (CAN)

Raffaele Marchiello (ITA)

Prema

ART Grand Prix

Russian Time

ART Grand Prix

Prema

Racing Engineering

Rapax

DAMS

DAMS

Russian Time

59m 14.764

+6.737

+11.309

+14.111

+20.172

+23.686

+26.630

+35.974

+39.007

+41.589

Rowland starts final

feature in fifth

Date:
Friday
25
November 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Pierre Gasly (1m 47.476)
Weather:

A late dash to the flag prevented Oliver Rowland from starting from a top three position for the final feature race of the GP2 Series season at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver progressed up the order throughout the session and with three minutes remaining sat in third position.

The MP Motorsport racer was soon deposed however by the ART Grand Prix machine of Nobuharu Matsushita.

Just as the pair looked to be starting alongside each other from the second row however, the Russian Time machine of Artem Markelov set a personal best time in the dying seconds of 1m 47.901s to steal third place and demote Matsuhita to fourth, and Rowland to the third row in fifth position.

Rowland will share the third row of the grid with Prema’s championship points leader Antonio Giovinazzi who will be eager to make a good start to defend his lead from title rival and team-mate Pierre Gasly who scored pole position.

Gasly opted to remain in the pit lane in the opening part of the session before emerging into clean air and a clear track in the 13th minute while the rest of the field returned to the pits for the mid-session recess.

No other driver was able to better Gasly’s time in the second half of the session, and his bonus points gained for pole position have slashed Giovinazzi’s championship lead to just three points heading into Saturday’s feature race.

Gasly will start on the front row alongside ART GP’s Sergei Sirotkin. 

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Qualifying / Race 1 Grid (Top 10)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

Nobuharu Matsuhita (JPN)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) 

Norman Nato (FRA)

Raffaele Marchiello (ITA)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Mitch Evans (NZL)

Prema

ART Grand Prix

Russian Time

ART Grand Prix

MP Motorsport

Prema

Racing Engineering

Russian Time

DAMS

Campos Racing

1m 47.476

+0.328

+0.425

+0.521

+0.654

+0.812

+0.831

+0.892

+1.048

+1.083

Rowland rounds out

Sepang in P8

Date:
Sunday
02
October 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Luca Ghiotto (40m 22.211s)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland moved to an eighth place finish in the GP2 Series sprint race at Sepang in Malaysia.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver, who finished in 12th place in the previous day’s longer feature encounter, lined up from the same position for Sunday’s tangle.

A safety car was required on only the second lap to recover a spinning Racing Engineering machine of Norman Nato.

At the restart, Rowland was immediately on the attack on lap seven, hunting down Nato’s team-mate Jordan King who was already struggling for pace in the early stages of the race.

Rowland and Prema’s Antonio Giovinazzi attacked King, sandwiched in between the Briton down the circuit’s main straight.

Both Rowland and Giovinazzi completed their moves at turn one, with Rowland ahead. Giovinazzi sensed his opportunity immediately after, running side-by-side with Rowland. But the Italian ran too wide, dropping three places in doing so.

Giovinazzi and Prema team-mate Pierre Gasly were soon on the attack once again, the pair past Rowland within two laps demoting Rowland to seventh position for the majority of the second half of the race.

But on the penultimate lap, ART Grand Prix’s Nobuharu Matsushita grabbed the position from Rowland whose tyres were fading in the closing stages, leaving him to take the flag in eighth position.

Trident’s Luca Ghiotto scored race victory, closely followed by his fellow Italian Raffaele Marchiello (Russian Time). Gasly scored third to continue his title pursuit.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 2 Result (Top 10)

Luca Ghiotto (ITA) 

Raffaele Marchiello (ITA)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) 

Gustav Malja (SWE)

Mitch Evans (NZL)

Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Johnny Cecotto (VEN)

Nicholas Latifi (CAN)

Trident

Russian Time

Prema

Prema

Rapax

Campos Racing

ART Grand Prix

MP Motorsport

Rapax

DAMS

40m 22.211

+0.694

+4.786

+5.402

+9.693

+13.333

+13.997

+15.893

+17.623

+24.245

Rowland spins

to 12th in Malaysia

Date:
Saturday
01
October 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Antonio Giovinazzi (52m 18.049)
Weather:

A tyre strategy gamble did not pay off as Oliver Rowland was unable to preserve his rubber for long enough to challenge for a podium position, resulting in a 12th place finish in the GP2 Series feature race at Sepang in Malaysia.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver, who qualified in ninth place the previous day, was handed a stroke of luck on the formation lap ahead of the race when his fellow fifth row grid starter Artem Markelov ground to a halt.

The rest of the field were forced into a further two formation laps as the Russian Time machine was cleared away ahead of the start.

Rowland, on medium compound Pirelli tyres made a positive getaway when the lights did go out, capitalising on the slow-starting Prema car of Pierre Gasly, moving up two places to seventh by the end of the opening tour.

Rowland and his MP Motorsport machine were soon up a further place, passing the Racing Engineering car of Jordan King on lap two. Rowland remained in sixth place until he was one of the first drivers to pit on lap six of 29, switching his medium tyres for the more durable orange-walled hard compound of rubber.

Although gaining the undercut on those cars that pitted a handful of laps later, Rowland and the MP Motorsport squad were hoping that they would be able to preserve the life of the tyres for the remainder of the race.

But with a technical malfunction preventing all drivers from using their Drag Reduction System along the main pit straight, Rowland was unable to pass the second Racing Engineering car of Norman Nato. It would be a pivotal point in Rowland’s race.

Once the rest of the field had made their pit stops, including those drivers attempting the alternate strategy of starting on the hard tyre and switching to mediums, Rowland was a net fourth place.

But with five laps of the race remaining, Rowland’s tyres, at 17 laps old, began to fall off the cliff.

He began to lose handfuls of time, releasing his assault on Nato ahead and falling into the clutches of DAMS’ Alex Lynn. The pair battled a great tussle, with Rowland mistakingly heading wide around the slow right hander before the main back straight.

Rowland responded, hugging the pit wall and re-taking the place out of turn one. But Lynn had his revenge the following lap, with Raffaello Marchiello and King all going side-by-side with a determined Rowland, but all making their way past.

It dropped Rowland to seventh place, which became eighth when Rapax racer Luca Ghiotto, the highest placed driver on medium compound tyres, got ahead on the penultimate tour.

Rowland’s misery was compounded when, with his tyres all but gone, he spun out of turn nine on the final lap.

Returning to the track, he was out-dragged on the exit of the final corner by Pierre Gasly, the pair crossing the line together, but the Prema car took 11th position by 0.012s, leaving Rowland in 12th place and out of the points-scoring positions.

Prema’s Antonio Giovinazzi scored a thrilling race victory to move ahead of Gasly into the championship lead. He headed ART GP’s Sergei Sirotkin with Nato third.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 1 Result (Top 10)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) 

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Jordan King (GBR)

Raffaele Marchiello (ITA)

Luca Ghiotto (ITA) 

Mitch Evans (NZL)

Gustav Malja (SWE)

Sergio Canamasas (SPA)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Prema

ART Grand Prix

Racing Engineering

DAMS

Racing Engineering

Russian Time

Trident

Campos Racing

Rapax

Carlin

MP Motorsport

52m 18.049

+5.858

+8.015

+16.214

+18.742

+20.694

+24.964

+28.550

+28.741

+33.209

+35.550

Rowland to start ninth

in Sepang

Date:
Friday
30
September 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Pierre Gasly (1m 42.181)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland struggled with the handling of his MP Motorsport machine as he qualified in ninth position for the GP2 Series in sweltering conditions at Sepang in Malaysia.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver travelled to Malaysia early to adapt to the weather conditions by training alongside his fellow Renault Sport Academy members in the days before the race weekend.

With a re-surfaced and re-profiled track surface combined with the high heat, all drivers did not have much track time to adjust to the conditions.

Rowland set his opening flying lap of the session with a time of 1m 42.902s, placing him provisionally in eighth place, but reported on team radio that he was struggling with the handling of his Dallara-built GP2/11 machine.

Having pitted from ninth place in the mid-session gap to switch tyres and wait for the final minutes of sprint action, Rowland was unable to improve in the opening two sectors of his first flying lap.

But while Rowland passed through the third sector of the lap, a red flag was thrown as Campos Racing’s Mitch Evans suffered a brake failure at turn one, rear ending the tyre barrier with three and a half minutes remaining.

When released, all drivers had only a single flying lap to improve their qualifying time.

But with drivers having only a single lap to gain sufficient tyre temperature, combined with a yellow flag on track as ART Grand Prix’s Nobuharu Matsushita spun at turn 14, prevented many drivers including Rowland from improving.

Rowland was therefore forced to settle for his ninth place start on the grid, for the opening feature race alongside Russian Time’s 10th place starter Artem Markelov.

Championship leader Pierre Gasly will start from pole position alongside his Prema team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Qualifying / Race 1 Grid (Top 10)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) 

Raffaele Marchiello (ITA)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Nobuharu Matsuhita (JPN)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Jordan King (GBR)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

Prema

Prema

Russian Time

ART Grand Prix

ART Grand Prix

DAMS

Racing Engineering

Racing Engineering

MP Motorsport

Russian Time

1m 42.181

+0.082

+0.345

+0.347

+0.442

+0.594

+0.619

+0.670

+0.721

+0.753

Rowland ninth

in Monza opener

Date:
Saturday
03
September 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Antonio Giovinazzi (52m 28.474)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland battled to a ninth place finish in the GP2 Series feature race around Monza in Italy.

Starting on the soft tyre from 10th position on the grid, Rowland negotiated the opening corners to gain a single place to ninth, hugging the inside line to turn one as he did so.

That was where the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver remained until lap eight, when second place starter Artem Markelov (Russian Time), who had earlier locked up on two occasions, fell down the order with Rowland running around the outside of the Parabolica at high speed to pass the Russian.

Rowland lost the position just seconds later at turn one, the MP Motorsport racer being out-dragged via the Drag Reduction System, while also repelling the advances of ART Grand Prix’s Nobuharu Matsushita.

Having switched to hard tyres at the mandatory pit stop on lap 12, Rowland re-joined before a safety car was required four laps later as Arthur Pic and Sergio Canamasas collided.

With Rowland in 13th place, the safety car picked up the incorrect car, leading to long confusion as to the real race leader, with the front three cars a lap ahead of the rest of the field.

Once sorted, the race restarted with six laps remaining and Rowland moved up the inside of both Matsushita and ART GP’s Sergei Sirotkin at turn one a lap later, promoting him up to ninth place.

Aiming for the eighth place reverse grid pole position, Rowland had work to do, still 1.5 seconds behind Campos Racing’s Mitch Evans. Despite his best efforts, Rowland was unable to reduce the deficit and was forced to settle for a ninth place finish.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 1 Result (Top 10)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) 

Raffaele Marchiello (ITA)

Gustav Malja (SWE)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Luca Ghiotto (ITA) 

Jordan King (GBR)

Mitch Evans (NZL)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

Prema

Russian Time

Rapax

Prema

Racing Engineering

Trident

Racing Engineering

Campos Racing

MP Motorsport

Russian Time

52m 28.474

+1.457

+1.988

+2.294

+2.809

+2.823

+3.896

+6.311

+7.898

+9.416

Monza penalty leaves

Rowland ninth

Date:
Saturday
03
September 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Norman Nato (33m 51.821s)
Weather:

A time penalty for causing a collision hindered Oliver Rowland’s advances in the GP2 Series sprint race at Autodromo Nazionale Monza near Milan in Italy.

In hot, dry conditions, the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver, who took the series points lead following a double podium finish at the previous round at Silverstone, set the 12th quickest time in the opening half of the qualifying session, with a 1m 27.210s.

Following the re-surfacing of the track for this year’s event, lap times were far quicker with cars covering the 2.722-mile circuit over two seconds faster than in 2015.

With 10 minutes remaining in the session, Rowland re-joined the track but following his out lap, the Briton made a mistake in the first sector, forcing him to abandon the lap, and with other drivers setting their personal best times, Rowland was demoted to 18th position.

On the following tour, Rowland set his own best sector one and three times, but a disappointing sector two meant that his time of 1m 27.176s was only good enough to rise him a single place above his MP Motorsport team-mate Daniel de Jong into 17th place.

The Prema car of Pierre Gasly was quickest by over half a second by the end of the session and will start Saturday’s feature race from pole position with a time of 1m 25.612s. ART Grand Prix’s Sergei Sirotkin will start alongside on the front row of the grid.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 2 Result (Top 10)

1 Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

2 Pierre Gasly (FRA) 

3 Raffaele Marciello (ITA) 

4 Oliver Rowland (GBR) 

5 Alex Lynn (GBR) 

6 Norman Nato (FRA)

7 Nicholas Latifi (CAN)

8 Jordan King (GBR)

9 Marvin Kirchhofer (GER)

10 Artem Markelov (RUS)

ART Grand Prix

Prema

Russian Time

MP Motorsport

DAMS

Racing Engineering

DAMS

Racing Engineering

Carlin

Russian Time

1m 22.193s

+0.016s

+0.176s

+0.220s

+0.229s

+0.296s

+0.331s

+0.355s

+0.603s

+0.612s

Rowland 10th

in Monza qualifying

Date:
Friday
02
September 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Pierre Gasly (1m 31.199)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland will start from 10th position for the opening GP2 Series feature race of the Italian Grand Prix weekend at Monza.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver, who struggled the previous weekend at the last round at Spa-Francorchamps, headed out in dry and bright conditions looking to improve his fortunes and return to the front of the grid.

Rowland set his first lap time of 1m 32.176s before his tyres reached optimum temperature to post an improved 1m 31.893s to sit in sixth place by the mid-session hiatus.

Following the break in action and switching to fresh tyres, Rowland’s first flying lap time, 1m 31.864s, was good enough for 10th place on the grid.

With other drivers improving their times, Rowland began to fall down the time sheets. The MP Motorsport racer was unable to improve on his second flying lap in the dying seconds of the session, leaving Rowland to start from 12th position, alongside Trident’s Luca Ghiotto, and target a reversed grid pole position for the weekend’s second race.

Following the qualifying session however, provisional second placed starter Antonio Giovinazzi (Prema) and Arden's eighth place starter Nabil Jeffri were deemed to have insufficient tyre pressures, and were subsequently excluded from the session and will start Saturday's race from the back of the grid. These penalties promoted Rowland two places to start from 10th position.

Prema’s Pierre Gasly will start the feature race from pole position, with Russian Time's Artem Markelov promoted on to the front row alongside him following Giovinazzi's exclusion.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Qualifying / Race 1 Grid (Top 10)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

Arthur Pic (FRA)

Mitch Evans (NZL)

Jordan King (GBR)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Luca Ghiotto (ITA)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Prema

Russian Time

Rapax

Campos Racing

Racing Engineering

DAMS

ART Grand Prix

Racing Engineering

Trident

MP Motorsport

1m 31.199

+0.349

+0.418

+0.467

+0.511

+0.576

+0.596

+0.617

+0.656

+0.665

Rowland advances to sixth

at Spa

Date:
Sunday
28
August 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Antonio Giovinazzi (36m 48.422)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland took advantage of a second final lap incident at the Bus Stop Chicane in as many races, before a post-race penalty promoted him further to a sixth place finish in the GP2 Series sprint race at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium.

Having secured a point in dramatic fashion at the final corner the previous day, Rowland made contact with Prema’s Pierre Gasly at Les Combes on the opening lap, retaining ninth place after making up a place from the start.

Rowland was forced to defend from ART Grand Prix’s Sergei Sirotkin but Gasly responded by first passing Sirotkin and then past Rowland MP Motorsport car around the outside of Eau Rouge on the second tour.

Rowland was unable to keep up with the final points scoring eighth placed Alex Lynn (DAMS), over two seconds clear while also having to defend from Sirotkin, only half a second behind and with the benefit of the Drag Reduction System.

Places remained static until two laps remaining, as Lynn tussled with the Racing Engineering car of Jordan King and Russian Time’s Artem Markelov, Rowland’s defecit behind reduced to under a second.

The battle came to a head, as the previous day, on the final lap at the Bus Stop Chicane, as Sirotkin came from behind to dive up the inside of both Rowland and Markelov.

Sirotkin collided with Markelov, spinning the Russian around. While the incident caused minor damage to Rowland’s car, the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver managed to pass relatively unscathed and pull away to score eighth place over the line and the final points-paying place.

Following the conclusion of the race however, officials handed a 10-second time penalty to seven drivers for using their DRS on the opening lap of the race, against regulations.

This included two drivers provisionally classified ahead of Rowland: DAMS’ Alex Lynn and Racing Engineering’s Jordan King. Rowland was therefore promoted two places to sixth.

Prema’s Antonio Giovinazzi claimed race victory ahead of the Rapax of Gustav Malja. Trident’s Luca Ghiotto scored the final podium spot.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 2 Result (Top 10)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) 

Gustav Malja (SWE)

Luca Ghiotto (ITA)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Raffaele Marciello (ITA)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Sergio Canamasas (SPA)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Nicholas Latifi (CAN)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Prema

Rapax

Trident

Prema

Russian Time

MP Motorsport

Carlin

Racing Engineering

DAMS

DAMS

36m 48.422

+2.359

+3.921

+4.479

+6.634

+13.133

+16.274

+17.011

+18.821

+9.045

Rowland grabs

dramatic Spa point

Date:
Saturday
27
August 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Pierre Gasly (53m 00.853)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland grabbed a dramatic final corner championship point with a 10th place finish in the GP2 Series feature race at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium.

Having disappointingly qualified in 15th position for the weekend’s main race, Rowland opted to start it on the more durable hard compound tyre with air and track temperatures continuing to rise and increase the threat of major tyre degradation.

Rowland progressed up three places on the opening lap and the leading group, who fitted the soft compound tyre, pitted after six laps.

With Rowland extending his tyre life until he switched to the soft tyre on lap 17, he re-joined the pack in 12th place.

But the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver’s pace on the soft tyre was so much that he set the fastest lap of the race on lap 20, shortly before a Virtual Safety Car was called as Racing Engineering’s Norman Nato ground to a halt in the middle of the track on the exit of the Bus Stop Chicane.

On the restart, Rowland tussled with the ART GP car of Sergei Sirotkin with the pair continuing to exchange 10th place while also attempting to pass ninth placed Sergio Canamasas on the penultimate tour.

With Canamsas preventing both Rowland and Sirotkin from attacking reversed grid pole position driver Gustav Malja, on the final lap, Rowland braked later than Canamasas into the Bus Stop Chicane.

The Spaniard forced Rowland wide on to the inside kerb and the pair made contact, breaking Rowland’s front wing and forcing the MP Motorsport racer into the path of Sirotkin, further damaging the front wing and causing a puncture.

Rowland, however, was able to recover sufficiently to cross the line behind Sirotkin but ahead of Canamasas in 10th place.

Prema’s championship leader Pierre Gasly scored victory ahead of Racing Engineering’s Jordan King with DAMS Alex Lynn taking the final podium spot.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 1 Result (Top 10)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Jordan King (GBR)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Raffaele Marciello (ITA)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)

Luca Ghiotto (ITA)

Gustav Malta (SWE)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Prema

Racing Engineering

DAMS

Russian Time

Russian Time

Prema

Trident

Rapax

ART Grand Prix

MP Motorsport

53m 00.853

+11.262

+15.519

+19.163

+20.723

+24.616

+28.703

+32.404

+35.778

+36.489

Rowland struggles

in Spa qualifying

Date:
Friday
26
August 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Weather:

Oliver Rowland qualified 15th for the return of the GP2 Series at a hot and sunny Spa Francorchamps in Belgium.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver, who enjoyed a pair of fifth place finishes at the championship’s previous round before the summer break at Hockenheim in Germany, hoped to replicate his 2015 qualifying result of second at the same circuit.

With the air and track temperature surprisingly high as the sun shone on the Ardennes forest, all cars began the session on soft Pirelli compound tyres.

Rowland was the first driver out on track but his first flying lap of the session was compromised after he went wide and on to the grass on the exit of turn 11.

The MP Motorsport driver’s second flying lap was more competitive, but Rowland was only able to put his car, which was producing more smoke than usual, into a provisional 10th position.

In the second half of the session, Rowland was the final driver to exit the pits with under five minutes remaining. With fresh tyres which remain at their optimum for only a single lap of the 4.3-mile circuit, Rowland used them to improve his time to 1m 57.987s.

With other drivers improving their times, Rowland’s personal best was only good enough to field the 15th best time.

Prema’s Antonio Giovinazzi scored a last-gasp pole position for Saturday’s opening feature race ahead of his team-mate Pierre Gasly. 

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Qualifying / Race 1 Grid (Top 10)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Gustav Malja (SWE)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Jordan King (GBR)

Arthur Pic (FRA)

Raffaele Marciello (ITA)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN)

Marvin Kirchhofer (GER)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Prema

Prema

Rapax

Racing Engineering

Racing Engineering

Rapax

Russian Time

DAMS

ART Grand Prix

Carlin

MP Motorsport

1m 56.607

+0.161

+0.517

+0.604

+0.804

+0.855

+0.905

+1.051

+1.058

+1.143

+1.380

P5 brace for Rowland

at Hockenheim

Date:
Sunday
31
July 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Alex Lynn (GBR)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland completed a brace of fifth place finishes in the second race of the GP2 Series at Hockenheim, with late tyre wear preventing a podium position in the sprint encounter.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver, who was elevated to fifth place in the previous day’s feature race following the exclusion of Prema’s Pierre Gasly, started in that position for Sunday’s shorter encounter.

Rowland made a good getaway behind pole sitter Antonio Giovinazzi (Prema) who made a sluggish start, enabling Rowland to move into second behind DAMS’ Alex Lynn into turn one.

Following a Virtual Safety Car period, MP Motorsport driver Rowland dropped out of the one-second Drag Reduction System advantage, putting him into the clutches of a resurgent Giovinazzi.

The Italian, however, was handed a five-second time penalty for forcing Rapax’s Arthur Pic off the track at the start. That didn’t put Giovinazzi off though, and on lap 14 he outbraked himself and lost a piece of front wing while eyeing second from Rowland, spearing straight on and into the turn five gravel causing a second Virtual Safety Car period.

Following the restart, Rowland, as in race one, began to struggle with tyre degradation in the final five laps, and defended staunchly from the ART Grand Prix car of Sergei Sirotkin with Pic immediately behind.

Rowland was unable to resist Sirotkin with three laps remaining, with Pic and Trident’s Luca Ghiotto using DRS to scythe their way past, leaving Rowland to settle for his second fifth place finish of the weekend.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 2 Result (Top 10)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Arthur Pic (FRA)

Luca Ghiotto (ITA)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Raffaele Marciello (ITA)

Gustav Malja (SWE)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

Mitch Evans (NZL)

DAMS

ART Grand Prix

Rapax

Trident

MP Motorsport

Prema

Russian Time

Rapax

Russian Time

Campos Racing

43m 20.504

+2.922

+4.688

+6.206

+8.187

+8.486

+9.259

+10.292

+14.404

+15.162

Fifth for Rowland

at Hockenheim

Date:
Saturday
30
July 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Sergei Sirotkin (1h 00m 28.437)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland continued his run of points-scoring finishes with fifth place in the opening GP2 Series race of the weekend at Hockenheim in Germany.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver, who despite suffering from illness, qualified in fifth position for the opening race the previous day, was handed a post-qualifying boost when Prema’s Antonio Giovinazzi was excluded for a breach of ride height rules. It promoted Rowland to a fourth place slot on the grid.

With second place starter, championship leader Pierre Gasly making a very sluggish getaway from the lights, Rowland was forced to weave around the Prema car, slowing his own start and forcing him to defend into the opening corner from the quick starting Racing Engineering car of Norman Nato.

Having held off Nato on the opening lap, Rowland staunchly defended from the threat of DAMS’ Alex Lynn but with his soft tyres degrading rapidly, he was forced to yield the position and became the first driver to pit at the end of lap six to change to the medium compound tyre.

With other drivers who began the race on the medium tyre strategy having to pit to switch to the softer rubber, Rowland filtered into fourth place.

But following an earlier pit stop which stewards regarded as taking place under a Virtual Safety Car period, ART Grand Prix’s race leader Sergei Sirotkin was forced to pit for a second time, promoting Rowland to third.

But with fresher rubber, Sirotkin scythed back through the pack, while Rowland began to struggle on his medium tyres with 10 laps remaining, forfeiting positions to Trident’s Luca Ghiotto and the surging Sirotkin.

Rowland struggled to hang on to his tyres, and lost two further places in the final two laps, to the rapid Gasly and Rapax machine of Arthur Pic, to come home in sixth position.

Despite two pit stops, Sirotkin stormed back to the front of the field to score race victory ahead of Ghiotto with Gasly stealing third place over the line from Russian Time’s Raffaele Marciello by 0.03 seconds.

However, following post-race scrutineering, Gasly was excluded from the race after officials discovered that the fire extinguisher had set off during the race and was empty when later checked. It promoted Rowland up to fifth place.

“I struggled with my rear soft tyres in the first few laps,” Rowland said. “So I put myself in a position to struggle with the tyres in the remaining couple of laps of the race. I tried to manage them as well as I could but they were falling off the cliff by the end.

“It’s more championship points, but I need a little bit more than just consistent points at this point.”

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 1 Result (Top 10)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Luca Ghiotto (ITA)

Raffaele Marciello (ITA)

Arthur Pic (FRA)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Gustav Malja (SWE)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)

Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN)

Marvin Kirchhofer (GER)

ART Grand Prix

Trident

Russian Time

Rapax

MP Motorsport

Rapax

DAMS

Prema

ART Grand Prix

Carlin

1h 00m 28.437

+13.146

+17.783

+25.873

+27.742

+28.130

+32.730

+36.051

+38.838

+43.798

Rowland to start fouth

in Germany

Date:
Friday
29
July 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Sergei Sirotkin (1m 22.193)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland secured a fifth place start for the opening race of the GP2 Series seventh round at Hockenheim in Germany.

Having suffered a disappointing weekend at the previous round at the Hungaroring in Hungary, Rowland rebounded excellently despite suffering from a cold and a temperature heading into qualifying.

Heading out of the pit lane ahead of the rest of the grid, Rowland set a disappointing opening lap time but on his second flying lap, the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver set personal best sector times, good enough to place him sixth in the early stages of the session.

Returning to the track for the second part of the session with five minutes remaining, the MP Motorsport driver improved on a new set of tyres, setting a best time of 1m 22.413s to move up to fifth place despite making an error in the infield section of the track costing him time.

Following post-qualifying scrutineering however, the floor of Prema's fourth placed Antonio Giovinazzi failed a ride height test. The Italian was excluded and forced to start from the back of the grid, promoting Rowland to a fourth place start for the opening affair.

ART Grand Prix’s Sergei Sirotkin scored pole position with a best time of 1m 22.193s, ahead of Prema’s championship leader Pierre Gasly.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Qualifying / Race 1 Grid (Top 10)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Raffaele Marciello (ITA)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Nicholas Latifi (CAN)

Jordan King (GBR)

Marvin Kirchhofer (GER)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

ART Grand Prix

Prema

Russian Time

MP Motorsport

DAMS

Racing Engineering

DAMS

Racing Engineering

Carlin

Russian Time

1m 22.193

+0.016

+0.176

+0.220

+0.229

+0.296

+0.331

+0.355

+0.603

+0.612

Rowland ends Hungary weekend

in P6

Date:
Sunday
24
July 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Rowland ends Hungary weekend in P6
Weather:

Oliver Rowland ended his GP2 Series weekend in Hungary with a sixth place finish in the championship’s sprint race format at the Hungaroring.

After the previous day’s opening feature race in which he surged up the grid before narrowly missing out on points with an 11th place finish, Rowland started in that position at the head of the sixth row of the grid on Sunday.

Making a good start, the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver took the outside line around the opening turn, driving wide off the track to avoid cars ahead that had made contact.

Rowland then took evasive measures to avoid further contact when Rapax drvier Arthur Pic spun across the track at turn two, causing multiple incidents which prompted a safety car interlude.

Having benefitted from the incidents ahead, Rowland had progressed up to seventh place which became sixth when Prema’s Antonio Giovinazzi pitted immediately on the lap five restart for damage inflicted during the earlier turn one incident.

MP Motorsport driver Rowland looked to close down the Campos Racing machine of Mitch Evans, getting to within one second of the New Zealander and into range of using his Drag Reduction System. But Rowland was also aware of the threat from Prema’s championship leader Pierre Gasly who set the fastest lap on lap 19.

Despite using his DRS, Rowland was unable to close in enough to pass Evans, the circuit’s high-speed corner characteristics preventing him from gaining a long enough tow. Similarly Gasly was unable to make further progress to challenge both Rowland and Evans.

It resulted in Rowland having to settle for a sixth place finish with ART Grand Prix’s Sergei Sirotkin scoring his first race victory of the season with the Racing Engineering duo of Jordan King and Norman Nato taking the remaining podium places.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 2 Result (Top 10)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Jordan King (GBR)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

Mitch Evans (NZL)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Raffaele Marciello (ITA)

Sergio Canamasas (SPA)

ART Grand Prix

Racing Engineering

Racing Engineering

Russian Time

Campos Racing

MP Motorsport

Prema

Russian Time

Carlin

Campos Racing

44m 47.059

+4.953

+7.506

+8.988

+14.146

+15.283

+16.662

+20.939

+25.985

+30.884

Points evade

Rowland in Hungary

Date:
Saturday
23
July 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Pierre Gasly (55m 29.672)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland narrowly missed out on a points-scoring position with an 11th place finish in the GP2 Series feature race at the Hungaroring.

Following a torrid qualifying session in which he began from 17th position, the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver was hoping for better fortune in the longer feature affair.

With the track dry following heavy rainfall during an extended Formula 1 qualifying session ahead of the race, Oliver started on the orange-walled hard tyre, opting for a longer strategy before pitting to switch to the softer compound rubber on a track that is tough to overtake on.

Having lost two places on the opening lap, MP Motorsport driver Rowland made up two further places due to a puncture for Campos Racing’s Sean Galael and lack of pace for DAMS’ Nicholas Latifi.

With the leading pack starting the race on the soft compound tyre, they began to pit from lap 10 to switch to the hard rubber, promoting Rowland up the order and behind his team-mate Daniel de Jong who had made an impressive getaway.

With Rowland finally past de Jong at the halfway mark on lap 18, the Briton rapidly began to set his personal best times with the harder tyre proving to last competitively for the majority of the race.

With other drivers continuing to pit, Rowland was promoted to second position behind Arden’s Jimmy Eriksson, also running the hard tyre well.

After beginning to struggle and his deficit to Eriksson extending, Rowland pitted to change to the soft tyres on lap 32 of 36, re-joining in 14th position and two seconds behind the Rapax of Gustav Malja.

Rowland immediately began to fly, setting the fastest lap of the race to cut Malja’s advantage to 0.2s and soon after passed the Swedish racer and DAMS’ Alex Lynn into 12th place.

Eriksson, having pitted a lap later than Rowland, had been set for a deserved race two reversed grid pole position, but suffered a loss of power on the final tour.

Rowland was therefore promoted to 11th place by the chequered flag, missing out on championship points for a top 10 finish, as well as a further two points for his fastest lap.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 1 Result (Top 10)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Raffaele Marciello (ITA)

Arthur Pic (FRA)

Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Jordan King (GBR)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

Mitch Evans (NZL)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Prema

Prema

ART Grand Prix

Russian Time

Rapax

ART Grand Prix

Racing Engineering

Racing Engineering

Russian Time

Campos Racing

MP Motorsport

55m 29.672

+1.365

+2.835

+7.616

+9.908

+12.861

+17.713

+21.906

+22.101

+23.980

+29.377

Rowland struggles

at Hungaroring

Date:
Friday
22
July 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Pierre Gasly (1m 25.612)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland stumbled to a 17th place start for the opening race of the GP2 Series round at the Hungaroring in Hungary, after a disappointing qualifying session.

In hot, dry conditions, the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver, who took the series points lead following a double podium finish at the previous round at Silverstone, set the 12th quickest time in the opening half of the qualifying session, with a 1m 27.210s.

Following the re-surfacing of the track for this year’s event, lap times were far quicker with cars covering the 2.722-mile circuit over two seconds faster than in 2015.

With 10 minutes remaining in the session, Rowland re-joined the track but following his out lap, the Briton made a mistake in the first sector, forcing him to abandon the lap, and with other drivers setting their personal best times, Rowland was demoted to 18th position.

On the following tour, Rowland set his own best sector one and three times, but a disappointing sector two meant that his time of 1m 27.176s was only good enough to rise him a single place above his MP Motorsport team-mate Daniel de Jong into 17th place.

The Prema car of Pierre Gasly was quickest by over half a second by the end of the session and will start Saturday’s feature race from pole position with a time of 1m 25.612s. ART Grand Prix’s Sergei Sirotkin will start alongside on the front row of the grid. 

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Qualifying / Race 1 Grid (Top 10)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)

Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Luca Ghiotto (ITA)

Arthur Pic (FRA

Raffaele Marchiello (ITA)

Jordan King (GBR)

Marvin Kirchhofer (GER)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Prema

ART Grand Prix

Prema

ART Grand Prix

Racing Engineering

Trident

Rapax

Russian Time

Racing Engineering

Carlin

MP Motorsport

1m 25.612

+0.570

+0.826

+0.871

+0.909

+0.945

+1.021

+1.045

+1.055

+1.084

+1.564

Double P3

hands Rowland GP2 lead

Date:
Sunday
10
July 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Jordan King (37m 35.325)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland took the GP2 Series points lead with a second podium of the weekend at his home event at Silverstone in Great Britain, his third successive appearance to the top three steps.

Following his third place finish in Saturday’s feature race, Racing Steps Foundation-backed Rowland made an excellent start from his reversed grid position of sixth place to vault past the driver pairing ahead of Mitch Evans (Campos Racing) and Trident’s Luca Ghiotto.

Rowland was soon past third placed Norman Nato (Racing Engineering) up the inside at Stowe on lap eight with Ghiotto following through.

Ghiotto’s pace soon came to the fore, enabling him to pass Rowland on the following lap and sprint towards pole sitter and race leader Jordan King (Racing Engineering).

As Rowland worked to get into consistent range of ART GP’s Nobuharu Matsushita, the weather turned for the worse, bringing rainfall with all slickshod drivers forced to tiptoe around the circuit.

Rowland took the opportunity to close in on Matsushita and use the benefit of his Drag Reduction System down the Wellington Straight towards Brooklands.

Matsushita locked up his wheels, running straight on Brooklands, enabling Rowland to take the position. But with rain increasing, Rowland was forced to hold off the resurgent Prema car of Antonio Giovinazzi by 0.1 seconds by the chequered flag.

King held on to secure race victory from Ghiotto with Rowland 11 seconds behind. His third successive podium has placed Rowland a single championship point ahead of Giovinazzi in the standings.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 2 Result (Top 10)

Jordan King (GBR)

Luca Ghiotto (ITA)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)

Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN)

Raffaele Marciello (ITA)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Marvin Kirchhofer (GER)

Sergio Canamasas (SPA)

Nicholas Latifi (CAN)

Racing Engineering

Trident

MP Motorsport

Prema

ART Grand Prix

Russian Time

Prema

Carlin

Carlin

DAMS

37m 35.325

+0.580

+11.664

+11.786

+17.518

+20.467

+23.126

+25.873

+26.721

+27.370

Rowland secures Silverstone

silverware

Date:
Saturday
09
July 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Pierre Gasly (51m 39.383)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland scored a second successive podium finish with third place in the opening feature race of the fifth GP2 Series round at Silverstone in Great Britain.

Having taken second place in the final race at the previous round at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, Rowland was forced to start his home race from ninth position on the grid due to an alternator failure in Friday’s qualifying session.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver made a good start in the bright but windy conditions to vault into eighth place by the opening turn, and by lap two had progressed further to fourth.

The MP Motorsport racer was soon under pressure though, as his tyres began to fade and DAMS Nicholas Latifi was the first of a number of drivers who capitalised, on differing strategies to Rowland who pitted for new option tyres on lap seven.

As Rowland re-joined behind Prema’s Pierre Gasly in the midfield, both began setting lap times to enable them to be ahead once the drivers ahead made their pit stop later in the race.

When they did, Gasly was promoted into an ultimately maiden race-winning lead with Oliver over six seconds behind and falling into the clutches of Gasly’s team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi.

Rowland defended staunchly, hoping to hold on in the remaining handful of laps. But Giovinazzi finally made his move, driving around the outside at Luffield to take second and leave Rowland to settle for the bottom step of the podium.

He was handed a post-race five-second penalty for exceeding track limits but this did not affect his finishing position.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 1 Result (Top 10)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Mitch Evans (NZL)

Luca Ghiotto (ITA)

Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Jordan King (GBR)

Raffaele Marciello (ITA)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

Prema

Prema

MP Motorsport

Campos Racing

Trident

ART Grand Prix

Racing Engineering

Racing Engineering

Russian Time

Russian Time

51m 39.383

+9.422

+16.090

+21.667

+24.591

+25.165

+25.474

+25.651

+31.757

+33.115

Rowland to start ninth

at Silverstone

Date:
Friday
08
July 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Norman Nato (1m 38.216)
Weather:

A suspected alternator failure prevented Oliver Rowland from challenging for a top four start at his home grand prix weekend, having to settle for a ninth place start for the opening race of the weekend at Silverstone.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver, who scored a second place finish in the final race of the previous weekend in Austria, began Saturday’s qualifying session by setting the sixth quickest lap time.

The session was soon red flagged though with 19 minutes remaining, as Arden’s Nabil Jeffri was forced to stop his machine along the old pit straight. On resumption, all cars remained in the pit preferring to wait until their final runs with 10 minutes to go.

As cars headed back out on to track, rivals Nicholas Latifi (DAMS), Arthur Pic (Rapax) and Campos Racing’s Mitch Evans all improved to relegate Rowland to ninth place.

As Rowland attempted to set a quicker time with five minutes remaining, he was forced to stop his MP Motorsport car off the road on the outside of turn four, The Loop, with a suspected alternator failure.

With provisional fifth placed driver Sergei Sirotkin (ART GP) failing to stop for the weighbridge during qualifying, the Russian was later excluded from the session and forced to start Saturday's race from the pit lane. Sirotkin's mistake elevated Rowland who will begin Saturday’s feature race from ninth place.

Racing Engineering’s Norman Nato scored pole position ahead of Prema’s Pierre Gasly on the front row of the grid. Nicholas Latifi (DAMS) will join Russian Time’s Nicholas Latifi on the second row of the grid. Rowland will line up at the head of row five alongside Russian Time’s Artem Markelov. 

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Qualifying / Race 1 Grid (Top 10)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Nicholas Latifi (CAN)

Raffaele Marciello (ITA)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)

Mitch Evans (NZL)

Jordan King (GBR)

Arthur Pic (FRA)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

Racing Engineering

Prema

DAMS

Russian Time

Prema

Campos Racing

Racing Engineering

Rapax

MP Motorsport

Russian Time

1m 38.216

+0.225

+0.581

+0.626

+0.696

+0.868

+0.907

+0.944

+0.976

+1.154

Rowland sprints

to Austria podium

Date:
Sunday
03
July 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Jordan King (44m 34.966)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland earned his second podium of the season with a second placed finish in the GP2 Series sprint race in treacherously wet early conditions at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

Following a sixth place finish in Saturday’s opening race of the weekend, Rowland would begin the reversed grid race two from third place on the grid, led by pole sitter and fellow Brit Jordan King.

With bad track conditions following prolonged rainfall over Spielberg, the race began behind the safety car for the opening three laps.

With cars tiptoeing around the 2.6-mile track Rowland immediately attacked the second placed Racing Engineering car of Norman Nato around turns five and six, his attempts were put on hold due to a safety car required when Campos Racing’s Sean Galael was tipped into a spin and beached in the turn three gravel by Arthur Pic.

At the restart, after staunchly defending his position from Russian Time’s Raffaele Marciello, Rowland resumed his advances on Nato, and made his way past up the inside of turn three on lap eight.

From there, Rowland began his attack towards King, who was already four seconds ahead. Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver Rowland set the overall fastest lap in his attempts, but King was able to control the gap and set even quicker fastest laps himself.

His lead was erased on lap 21 when, with the track quickly drying, DAMS driver Nicolas Latifi span on the exit of turn one, rolled back across the track and stalled his car on the inside grass verge.

That prompted many drivers to pit for slick tyres, but the leading frontrunners including Rowland all remained out on track with wet rubber.

At the restart, King once again was able to sprint clear of Rowland who had Marciello and a surging Alex Lynn in his mirrors. But Rowland managed his advantage well from Lynn behind, but was unable to prevent King from scoring race victory.

It is Rowland’s second podium of the season following his second place finish in the feature race at Monaco in May.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 2 Result (Top 10)

Jordan King (GBR)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Raffaele Marciello (ITA)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Mitch Evans (GBR)

Luca Ghiotto (ITA)

Sergio Canamasas (SPA)

Racing Engineering

MP Motorsport

DAMS

Russian Time

Prema

ART Grand Prix

Prema

Campos Racing

Trident

Carlin

44m 34.966

+6.019

+7.702

+10.234

+10.417

+11.821

+12.594

+12.881

+15.878

+35.019

Rowland sixth in Austrian

feature race

Date:
Saturday
02
July 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Mitch Evans (1h 18m 32.399)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland scored a sixth place finish in a chaotic but entertaining weather-affected GP2 Series feature race at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria.

After qualifying in seventh position the previous day, Rowland made a sluggish start from his seventh row position as Racing Engineering’s Norman Nato bolted past off the line. Rowland lost further places, pushed off the track on the outside of turn two down to 10th position.

Rowland made the most of the Drag Reduction System at exit of turn four to close up to Carlin’s Marvin Kirchhofer before completed the move through turn five on lap seven.

But the weather played a huge part in the course of the race, beginning to fall at turn two several laps later. It produced a safety car period as second-placed Pierre Gasly lost the rear of his Prema Racing machine, sliding wide and beaching in the gravel as DAMS racer Alex Lynn almost joined him.

During the safety car interlude, Nato, Lynn and Racing Engineering’s Jordan King all pitted for wet tyres, whereas Rowland and several other frontrunners opted to gamble and remain on slick rubber.

The stops promoted Rowland up to sixth place, and at the restart, with tyre temperatures at their optimum, the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver passed Russian Time’s Artem Markelov around the wet turn two and then scything past both Trident’s Luca Ghiotto and ART GP’s Sergei Sirotkin to vault into third place.

Struggling with straight line speed, Rowland then began to suffer as first Ghiotto, then Markelov and Sirotkin all exerted their revenge to demote the MP Motorsport driver to sixth place.

The weather continued to play its part though, as Kirchhofer span and stalled his car in the middle of turn two forcing a further safety car as leading cars including Rowland all pitted to fit new slick rubber.

But one of those drivers, Markelov, exited the pits at high speed, understeering into the pit lane exit barrier and forcing a red flag stoppage.

With all cars parked in the pit lane for over 15 minutes and confusion as to whether the race would restart, a final seven-lap sprint would take place with Rowland sat in eighth positon, and aided when early leader Antonio Giovinazzi (Prema) stalled at the pit exit.

At the green flag, Rowland re-passed Sirotkin and Arden’s Jimmy Eriksson to make it into fifth place. But with Ghiotto over 2.5 seconds ahead, Rowland staunchly defended from a resurgent Eriksson who used DRS to secure the place on the penultimate tour and leave Rowland to settle for sixth place at the chequered flag. 

Rowland's sixth place finish means he will start Sunday's sprint race from third place on the grid.

Campos Racing's Mitch Evans scored race victory ahead of team-mate Sean Galael with Raffaele Marciello (Russian Time) on the final step of the podium.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 1 Result (Top 10)

Mitch Evans (GBR)

Sean Galael (IDN)

Raffaele Marciello (ITA)

Luca Ghiotto (ITA)

Jimmy Eriksson (SWE)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Gustav Malja (SWE)

Jordan King (GBR)

Campos Racing

Campos Racing

Russian Time

Trident

Arden International

MP Motorsport

Racing Engineering

ART Grand Prix

Rapax

Racing Engineering

1h 18m 32.399

+4.600

+10.789

+12.363

+12.691

+15.557

+16.559

+19.708

+20.258

+22.762

Fourth row start

for Rowland in Austria

Date:
Friday
01
July 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Sergei Sirotkin (1m 13.663)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland will start the opening GP2 feature race from seventh place following qualifying around the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver was looking to bounce back from a disappointing weekend at the previous round in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The qualifying session began in bright, sunny skies with drivers fitting Super Soft Pirelli tyres following a torrential downpour during the earlier Formula 1 free practice session.

Rowland made the most of his early running, setting the fifth quickest time with his third lap in his MP Motorsport-run Dallara machine, half a second off Prema’s Pierre Gasly who topped the early running order.

The session took its traditional downturn in action during its mid-point, with drivers waiting for a final sprint in the closing minutes.

Renault Sport Academy driver Rowland improved on his personal best time in the final laps as those around attempted to relegate the Briton in the order.

Rowland’s quickest lap, a 1m 14.316s, was good enough for sixth place before Trident’s Luca Ghiotto vaulted up the order into fourth place, demoting Rowland to seventh and the fourth row of the grid alongside fellow Brit Alex Lynn (DAMS).

ART Grand Prix racer Sergei Sirotkin will start Saturday’s feature race from pole position ahead of Prema’s Antonio Giovinazzi who trailed Sirotkin by a mere 0.006s.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Qualifying / Race 1 Grid (Top 10)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Luca Ghiotto (ITA)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

Raffaele Marciello (ITA)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Mitch Evans (NZL)

ART Grand Prix

Prema

Prema

Trident

Russian Time

Russian Time

MP Motorsport

DAMS

Racing Engineering

Campos Racing

1m 13.663

+0.006

+0.140

+0.428

+0.436

+0.521

+0.653

+0.724

+0.793

+0.911

Shunt ends Rowland’s

podium odds

Date:
Sunday
19
June 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Antonio Giovinazzi (44m 49.606)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland was left to rue a further lost podium opportunity after being punted out of third position in the second chaotic GP2 Series race in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver, having scored a fourth place finish in Saturday’s opening feature race encounter, lined up in fifth place on the reversed grid.

Rowland got his MP Motorsport machine off to a good start and into fourth place following a better exit out of turn one than Campos Racing’s Sean Galael.

Rowland chased down third placed Mitch Evans (Campos Racing) by lap six, and breezed past the New Zealand-born racer into turn one, but struggled to get his car slowed down enough in time, running slightly wide enabling Evans to retain the place.

But Rowland made the place his own on the exit, using DRS to secure the position on the run to turn two with ART GP’s Sergei Sirotkin also in the hunt having made his way up to fourth.

After the drama of the feature race, the field had behaved in the opening laps, until the eighth tour.

Following contact between Arden’s Jimmy Eriksson and Racing Engineering’s Jordan King, Eriksson spun into the barrier, prompting the first safety car of the race.

At the restart two laps later, leader Nobuharu Matsushita misjudged where the safety car restart line was, increasing his speed too early and almost catching the safety car, forcing him to ease off.

By the time he did cross the restart line, the top three ran three-abreast with Rowland taking the lead before he locked up his tyres into turn one, enabling Matsushita to regain the lead and Sirotkin to pass too.

One further lap later, the pack tried again following a further safety car. With Matsushita dictating the pace and keen to avoid a repeat of his first safety car error, he slowed only to speed up before unexpectedly braking while weaving.

With cars behind judging that Matsushita had restarted, the field surged forward only to have to react to the Japanese driver’s deceleration. This prompted contact and broken wings behind.

Rowland was therefore boxed in by other cars by the time he arrived at turn one, and was then hit into a spin from behind by Rapax driver Gustav Malja.

Rowland re-joined the field in 15th place, and was then forced to stop the car on the final lap when he locked up into turn two and drove down the escape road. He was still classified in 15th position.

Feature race victor Antonio Giovinazzi became the eventual race winner, taking the lead at turn one on the final lap ahead of Prema team-mate Pierre Gasly. Sirotkin took third place, his second podium of the weekend.

Shortly after the race, Rowland stated on Twitter: “I really can’t believe that just happened at this level. I put everything into that. Gutted for my team who have done a great job.”

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 2 Result (Top 10)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Jordan King (GBR)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

Sergio Canamasas (SPA)

Nabil Jeffri (IDN)

Arthur Pic (FRA)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Marvin Kirchhofer (GER)

Prema

Prema

ART Grand Prix

Racing Engineering

Russian Time

Carlin

Ardern

Rapax

DAMS

Carlin

44m 49.606

+1.763

+4.179

+5.672

+14.809

+16.151

+17.693

+18.240

+19.856

+22.745

Fourth in feature race

irks Rowland

Date:
Saturday
18
June 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Antonio Giovinazzi (1h 03m 05.420)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland had to settle for fourth place in the opening race of a chaotic third round of the GP2 Series at Baku in Azerbaijan.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver, who qualified sixth during Friday’s re-scheduled session, made a strong getaway on super soft tyres to jump into fourth place at the turn one, before the first of numerous safety car periods was called due to a multiple-car incident.

At the restart, Rowland made a further good getaway, driving around the outside of Prema’s Antonio Giovinazzi at turn one to move into third.

A further spirited move up the inside of both ART Grand Prix’s Nobuharu Matusushita and Nabil Jeffri (Arden) ahead into turn one, vaulted Rowland into second at the restart following a third safety car period on lap 11.

But Rowland lost the place three laps later with DRS helping Giovinazzi alongside down the two-kilometre start-finish straight as Rowland opted to conserve his tyres for a late race charge with fourth placed Sergei Sirotkin (ART Grand Prix) over four seconds behind.

An inter-team clash between Racing Engineering team-mates Norman Nato and Jordan King produced the final, much prolonged safety car of the race.

At the restart with two minutes remaining, with drivers struggling to gain enough tyre temperature, Rowland was unable to gain as good a restart as he had produced previously.

He was soon under pressure from Sirotkin who barged his way through, with the aid of a tap to Rowland’s car, through some of the tight first sector corners. From there, Rowland was unable to retaliate and had to settle to a fourth.

Soon after he Tweeted: "What an incredible race. So intense. I'm annoyed at myself for the last restart, should have done better!"

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 1 Result (Top 10)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Raffaele Marchiello (ITA)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Mitch Evans (GBR)

Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN)

Sean Galael (IDN

Daniel de Jong (NED)

Luca Ghiotto (ITA)

Gustav Malja (SWE)

Prema

ART Grand Prix

Russian Time

MP Motorsport

Campos Racing

ART Grand Prix

Campos Racing

MP Motorsport

Trident

Rapax

1h 03m 05.420

+1.233

+1.343

+2.141

+2.628

+3.110

+5.808

+6.663

+7.058

+7.595

Sixth place start

for Rowland in Baku

Date:
Friday
17
June 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Antonio Giovinazzi (1m 51.752)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland will start the inaugural GP2 Series race on the street circuit of Baku in Azerbaijan, from sixth place on the grid.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver, buoyed by his third place finish in the opening race at the previous round in Monte Carlo, was one of the first drivers to take to the track earlier in the day for the free practice session in slippery, dusty conditions.

The initially scheduled qualifying session was forced to be postponed due to concerns over some areas of kerbing following the earlier Formula 1 practice session. It was therefore re-scheduled for later in the afternoon.

With data accumulated from the practice session, Rowland began to make headway in the warm early evening conditions, making his way up to fifth place.

With seven and a half minutes remaining, Rowland set his quickest time of the session, a 1m 52.739s which elevated him into second place.

But with other drivers heading on to their quickest laps, Rowland was unable to improve on his best time. He was therefore left to start from the third row of the grid, alongside Trident racer Luca Ghiotto.

Prema’s Antonio Giovinazzi scored his maiden GP2 Series pole position with Nobuharu Matsushita (ART GP) alongside him on the front row. 

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Qualifying / Race 1 Grid (Top 10)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)

Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Raffaele Marciello (ITA)

Luca Ghiotto (ITA)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Marvin Kirchhofer (GER)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Sergio Canamasas (SPA)

Prema

ART Grand Prix

ART Grand Prix

Russian Time

Trident

MP Motorsport

Carlin

Prema

Racing Engineering

Carlin

1m 51.752

+0.089

+0.780

+0.803

+0.939

+0.987

+1.004

+1.008

+1.177

+1.210

Seventh for Rowland

in Monaco sprint

Date:
Saturday
28
May 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Nobuharu Matsushita (41m 59.39)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland concluded a successful second weekend of the GP2 Series with a seventh place finish in the Monaco sprint race.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver, having scored his maiden GP2 podium with third place in Saturday’s feature race, started from sixth place on soft tyres in the reverse grid encounter.

Making a good start, Rowland challenged Racing Engineering’s Norman Nato, his fellow third row starter, but the local Frenchman squeezed Rowland into turn one, to hold the position.

Both drivers lost a position up the hill from turn one with Saturday’s surprise race winner Artem Markelov (Russian Time) taking advantage to pass Rowland for seventh.

Rowland was determined to regain the position though, driving up the inside of Markelov around Casino.

From there, Rowland staunchly defended his place, on a circuit tough to overtake around with Markelov unable to get by and Rowland cemented a seventh place finish.

ART Grand Prix’s Nobuharu Matsushita scored victory from pole position with Marvin Kirchhofer (Carlin) and Russian Time’s Raffaele Marchiello completing the podium.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 2 Result (Top 10)

Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN)

Marvin Kirchhofer (GER)

Raffaele Marchiello (ITA)

Mitch Evans (GBR)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

Arthur Pic (FRA)

Sergio Canamasas (SPA)

ART Grand Prix

Carlin

Russian Time

Campos Racing

DAMS

Racing Engineering

MP Motorsport

Russian Time

Rapax

Carlin

41m 59.39

+13.660

+15.453

+20.894

+32.560

+33.038

+33.594

+33.874

+36.777

+47.646

Rowland bags

maiden GP2 podium

Date:
Friday
27
May 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Artem Markelov (1h 01m 27.183)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland scored his maiden GP2 Series podium with a third place finish in the main feature race of the second championship round on the streets of Monaco.

Starting from fifth position, the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver made a good start to hold his lead around t he tight opening corners and began to place pressure on fourth-placed Mitch Evans (Campos Racing).

With Evans struggling to withstand Rowland’s pressure, he began slowing up those drivers behind. Rowland exited the tunnel section on lap 13, and made his move up the inside at the following chicane, braking later and getting his MP Motorsport car stopped in time to make the corner.

Seeing Rowland’s advances, Evans chose to run straight on at the chicane and retain the position. This led to stewards handing him a five-second time penalty.

Rowland finally managed to make his move at the restart following a Virtual Safety Car period, as Evans was slow to react. Two further VSC periods were required soon after, one when second placed Sergei Sirotkin (ART GP) collided with the barrier on the exit of the swimming pool section, elevating Rowland into third place.

That became second place when Racing Engineering’s Jordan King was forced to pit to examine the car for a potential puncture.

With Rowland needing to make up time to race leader Norman Nato (Racing Engineering), him made his pit stop on lap 31 with Nato responding a lap later. Nato’s stop was delayed with the team struggling to fit his front right tyre.

He exited just in front of Rowland who, on warmer tyres, attacked immediately without success.

The key moment occurred soon after. When a further Virtual Safety Car period was required, to remove the stricken Trident car of Luca Ghiotto from the Fairmont Hairpin, the Russian Time car of Artem Markelov led the race by 15 seconds having not made his mandatory pit stop.

On the race resumption, Markelov’s lead had extended by a further 20 seconds, enough for him to pit and resume ahead of Nato and Rowland.

Markelov defended staunchly from the pair behind to take provisional race victory, with Rowland having to settle for third.

“We had really good race pace today,” Rowland said. “I was being held up by Evans in the early stages but when I got clear air, we were rapid and I was happy to settle for second. At the end, a car came out of the pits so I’m not sure what happened."

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 1 Result (Top 10)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Mitch Evans (GBR)

Raffaele Marchiello (ITA)

Marvin Kirchhofer (GER)

Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN)

Daniel de Jong (NED)

Arthur Pic (FRA)

Russian Time

Racing Engineering

MP Motorsport

DAMS

Campos Racing

Russian Time

Carlin

ART Grand Prix

MP Motorsport

Rapax

1h 01m 27.183

+1.541

+3.187

+8.239

+11.723

+15.025

+21.153

+21.582

+22.343

+23.333

Rowland to start fifth

in Monaco

Date:
Thursday
26
May 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Sergei Sirotkin (1m 19.186)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland will start the opening feature race at the second round of the GP2 Series from fifth place on the grid around the glamorous Monte Carlo street circuit.

The MP Motorsport driver was selected into the second half of two groups to qualify in the bright, sunny conditions and was therefore forced to wait and watch as the first group set their quickest times.

By the time Rowland and the remainder of the Group B drivers joined the track, they knew a time of 1m 19.894s, set by local driver Norman Nato was the quickest to beat from Group A.

Rowland topped the time sheets early into the session, before being overtaken by pacesetters Sergei Sirotkin (ART GP) and Jordan King (Racing Engineering).

Any improvements for all drivers was put on hold for a lengthy period of time following Russian Time driver Artem Markelov’s heavy collision with the barriers at turn one. This required substantial repair work before a resumption could take place.

When it did, Rowland was left with under four minutes to improve his time and threaten the top two of Sirotkin and King, who had both already beaten Nato’s earlier best effort.

Rowland did improve, impressively bettering his time by three tenths of a second. But it was not enough to overhaul King, while Sirotkin improved to dominate the session and score his maiden GP2 Series pole position.

With the two groups qualifying separately, Sirotkin will be joined by Group A fastest man Norman Nato, with King starting third alongside Campos Racing’s Mitch Evans.

Rowland will head the third row, and critically, clean side of the grid in fifth position alongside DAMS racer Alex Lynn.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Qualifying / Race 1 Grid (Top 10)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Jordan King (GBR)

Mitch Evans (NZL)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)

Raffiello Marchiello (ITA)

Nicholas Latifi (CAN)

Luca Ghiotto (ITA)

ART Grand Prix

Racing Engineering

Racing Engineering

Campos Racing

MP Motorsport

DAMS

Prema

Russian Time

DAMS

Trident

1m 19.186

1m 19.894

1m 19.691

1m 19.96

1m 19.852

1m 20.014

1m 19.972

1m 20.601

1m 20.18

1m 20.630

Sixth for Rowland

in Barcelona finale

Date:
Sunday
15
May 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Alex Lynn (43m 50.241)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland progressed to a sixth place finish in the second, sprint-format race, of the opening GP2 Series weekend of the season at Barcelona.

Starting 10th on the grid for the reversed grid encounter, Rowland made up two places to progress to eighth and from then, those around the MP Motorsport racer began a tyre conservation period with focus on the final few laps in order to push up the order.

With Rowland keeping out of the dirty air of seventh placed Sergio Canamasas ahead, maintaining his tyre wear, he waited until the final five laps when all drivers began to attack.

Closing up on to the gearbox of Canamasas, Rowland eventually took the Carlin car up the inside and then on the following lap, once again drove up the inside of DAMS driver Nicholas Latifi at turn one.

The moves were well timed as soon after a safety car was called on lap 22 following a heavy accident after contact between Antonio Giovinazzi and Sean Galael.

The incident was substantial enough for the safety car to remain on track until the chequered flag was waved.

DAMS racer Alex Lynn scored victory ahead of Pierre Gasly (Prema) and Racing Engineering’s Jordan King.

The second round of the GP2 Series will take place at Monte Carlo on May 26-28.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 2 Result (Top 10)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Jordan King (GBR)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

Raffaele Marchiello (ITA)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Nicholas Latifi (CAN)

Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN) 

Sergio Canamasas (SPA)

Gustav Malja (SWE)

DAMS

Prema

Racing Engineering

Russian Time

Russian Time

MP Motorsport

DAMS

ART GP

Carlin

Rapax

43m 50.241

+0.377

+1.120

+2.168

+3.382

+3.990

+4.584

+5.647

+8.115

+8.419

Rowland features to 10th

in Barcelona

Date:
Saturday
14
May 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Norman Nato (58m 51.044)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland struggled to a 10th place finish in the opening race of the GP2 Series season at Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

Starting from seventh position, the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver was forced wide and on to the run-off area on the exit of turn one from the start. It relegated Rowland down to 11th place, dashing his pre-race hopes of challenging for a podium finish.

The Renault F1 Academy racer pitted on lap seven to switch from soft to the more durable hard Pirelli tyres. When he re-joined, he was placed him into a three-car battle with Gustav Malja (Rapax) and the Racing Engineering machine of Jordan King.

But two lock ups prevented Rowland from progressing further, and while he was elevated to ninth place as some ahead pitted on differing strategies, Rowland was soon five seconds behind the Russian Time car of Raffaele Marchiello and coming into the clutches of ART GP’s Nobuharu Matsushita, only half a second behind.

On the final lap, Prema Powerteam’s Antonio Giovinazzi punted Marchiello into the gravel, forcing a safety car interlude. But with no time remaining on the race clock, the chequered flag was waved, with Rowland provisionally classified 11th. However, Giovinazzi was later handed a 20-second time penalty for his part in the incident. It promotes Rowland into 10th place, from which he collects a single championship point.

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Race 1 Result (Top 10)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Nicholas Latifi (CAN)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

Sergio Canamasas (SPA)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Jordan King (GBR)

Raffaele Marchiello (ITA)

Gustav Malja (SWE)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Racing Engineering

DAMS

Prema

Russian Time

Carlin

DAMS

Racing Engineering

Russian Time

Rapax

MP Motorsport

58m 51.044

+1.337

+4.248

+5.145

+7.294

+7.596

+8.678

+11.544

+13.102

+17.513

Rowland to start

GP2 opener in P7

Date:
Friday
13
May 2016
Circuit:
Fastest:
Winner:
Pierre Gasly (1m 27.807)
Weather:

Oliver Rowland began his first full season of competition in the GP2 Series with a seventh place start for the opening race of the season at Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

The Renault F1 Academy driver, racing with Dutch squad MP Motorsport, lines up alongside team-mate Daniel De Jong.

Following a bright a sunny morning, the Barcelona skies darkened as the pit lane opened with spots of rain beginning to fall. With all drivers fitting slick tyres for the start of qualifying, and with the threat of heavier rain to come, early quick laps were crucial.

Racing Steps Foundation-backed Rowland did just that, setting the early pace with the session’s fastest time of 1m 29.105s.

Last season’s Formula Renault 3.5 champion remained at the top of the times for a substantial portion of the qualifying session, with drivers unable to match his time. But with rain staying away, lap times began to reduce in the final few minutes, relegating Rowland to seventh place.

On his final quick lap with under five minutes remaining, Rowland made an error at turn one and then went wide at the final corner, losing time and was therefore unable to improve.

Nevertheless, Rowland declared himself happy with his position, one which he believes he can challenge for honours in tomorrow’s first feature race of the season.

“I’m happy with how it went, the car felt very good and really I should have been on the second row,” Rowland said. “When it began to rain at the start of the session, you want to go and put the tyres to good use straight away in case it does rain, yet you’re also mindful that if it doesn’t, you have to manage them for the remainder.

“I’m pretty confident with my race starts in this car. So I can take this seventh place at look to challenge for a podium finish in the longer race tomorrow.”

Photo: GP2 Series Media Service. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation pictures are available for editorial use from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf

GP2 Series
Round
Qualifying / Race 1 Grid (Top 10)

Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Norman Nato (FRA)

Alex Lynn (GBR)

Nicholas Latifi (CAN)

Sergei Sirotkin (RUS)

Gustav Malja (SWE)

Oliver Rowland (GBR)

Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN)

Artem Markelov (RUS)

Luca Ghiotto (ITA)

Prema

Racing Engineering

DAMS

DAMS

ART Grand Prix

Rapax

MP Motorsport

ART Grand Prix

Russian Time

Trident

1m 27.807

+0.464

+0.651

+0.756

+0.848

+0.888

+1.000

+1.321

+1.322

+1.336