Rowland: "Big thing" Formula E pole a career highlight

Oliver Rowland says his podium finish and pole position for Nissan e.dams in ABB FIA Formula E's Sanya race was "up there" with his best-ever results.

Rowland: "Big thing" Formula E pole a career highlight

Rowland took his first pole position in FE at Sanya and held onto the race lead for the first 19 laps before Jean-Eric Vergne passed him at the final corner in what became the race-deciding moment.

But Rowland managed to hold off BMW Andretti's Antonio Felix da Costa to take second place, his maiden FE podium and his first in any series since scoring third in the second Formula 2 race at Jerez in 2017.

Asked where the result ranked in his career, Rowland told Motorsport.com: “For sure it's up there. 

"To be pole, with 22 drivers at this level is a big thing. 

"I think the pole is probably the biggest thing because you have to really be the best for one lap and you don't really get much opportunity. 

"Maybe in a couple of days time I'll reflect a bit more and see it as a real positive. I'm just a little bit disappointed I couldn't optimise my performance and stay in front."

Rowland added that Vergne's move for the lead had surprised him. 

"I'm one side happy and I’m one side a little bit disappointed as well," he said. "I had a good opportunity today. 

"Me and JEV did a good job. He surprised me. I knew he was going to surprise me at some point. But I was struggling a lot. 

"I had to lift very early [to save energy]. But yeah, of course very happy with the podium.

"It’s been a while coming. I lost one in Mexico [to a software miscalculation] and again I was leading in Hong Kong [early on]. 

"It’s been a pretty tough three races with three DNFs. It’s nice to score points and consolidate my position."

Both Vergne and da Costa suggested Rowland was on the limit in his defending at Sanya, a sentiment the Nissan driver agreed with. 

"I was struggling a lot. And I knew when you start to drop back in a Formula E race, each person thinks you are slowest. 

"So they will use their energy to overtake. I couldn't afford to drop too far back.

"And yeah, I was on the limit [in defending]. I think within the rules but on the limit. I had to be aggressive. 

"He’s [da Costa] quite up there in the championship and he wants to score consistent points. And I need to be there on the podium. 

"So yeah, I took a bit of the risk."

Oliver Rowland, Nissan e.Dams, Nissan IMO1, Jean-Eric Vergne, DS TECHEETAH, DS E-Tense FE19, at the start

Oliver Rowland, Nissan e.Dams, Nissan IMO1, Jean-Eric Vergne, DS TECHEETAH, DS E-Tense FE19, at the start

Photo by: Andrew Ferraro / LAT Images

shares
comments
Wehrlein: Mahindra needs to revert to race-winning baseline

Previous article

Wehrlein: Mahindra needs to revert to race-winning baseline

Next article

Di Grassi, Frijns lock horns in FE penalty Twitter spat

Di Grassi, Frijns lock horns in FE penalty Twitter spat
Load comments
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Prime

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21 Prime

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was one without a narrative for much of the season, with no single car or driver able to break away from the pack. That makes choosing a top 10 especially difficult, particularly as the qualifying format meant some worthy performers were unable to enjoy their day in the sun.

Formula E
Sep 19, 2021
How Mercedes and de Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Prime

How Mercedes and de Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin.

Formula E
Sep 17, 2021
The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep di Grassi winning Prime

The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep di Grassi winning

OPINION: The departure of Audi from Formula E meant its long-time driver Lucas di Grassi would need to find a new berth to stay on the grid. His deal at Venturi Racing will ensure the championship's first-ever race winner will remain competitive into the final year of the current Gen2 ruleset - although it may not be a long-term fit

Formula E
Sep 15, 2021
The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure Prime

The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure

Mercedes' planned withdrawal from Formula E at the end of the 2022 season will contribute to the big hole left by fellow automotive manufacturers Audi and BMW on their departures. Although the team may stick around under a different guise, the exit of the now-reigning teams' champion underlines FE's current issues...

Formula E
Aug 18, 2021
The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion Prime

The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion

After clinching the Formula E title at the Berlin finale, Nyck de Vries is a driver in demand. Although Mercedes would love to keep a reigning champion at the team, the allure of a Williams F1 drive may be too much for de Vries to ignore should a potential deal come to pass

Formula E
Aug 17, 2021
How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms Prime

How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms

As Formula E lined up to complete its seventh season at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport, all eyes were on who would be its first official FIA world champion. Despite Nyck de Vries' title lead heading into the weekend looking all but secure, the Dutchman held on - and enjoyed a good dollop of fortune - to secure a championship double for Mercedes

Formula E
Aug 16, 2021
Why Audi was right and wrong in Formula E's loophole row Prime

Why Audi was right and wrong in Formula E's loophole row

OPINION: With Audi's Formula E exit imminent, it had nothing to lose in London by attempting to vault Lucas di Grassi into the lead by pitting him under the safety car. Scorn directed at the team for putting glory before ethics should instead be pointed at a rulebook that allowed such a move in the first place.

Formula E
Jul 28, 2021