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Rookie Rowland Exceeds Own Expectations

Oliver Rowland says he has exceeded his own expectations so far in Formula E…

Photo: Formula E

Oliver Rowland says that he surprised himself with how quickly he took to Formula E after just one day of pre-season testing.

The British driver was a late replacement for Alexander Albon who left Nissan e.dams last fall to embark on a Formula 1 drive with Toro Rosso.

Rowland only got one day of largely wet running at Valencia in October before the first race in Saudi Arabia.

“I probably never expected to be this consistent and this quick. The last few races have been really good on all fronts,” Rowland told e-racing365 after finishing second in Saturday’s Sanya E-Prix.

“I’ve qualified fourth, second, first and showed a nice little progression, so obviously that’s a real positive and hopefully, we can just keep it up.

“It’s a bit of a surprise to me be able to sit here and be in a good position after missing everything testing wise.

“If you think how much testing everybody got, even before Valencia. I’m still learning everything really but team has done a really good job in getting me up to speed too.”

Rowland claimed Nissan e.dams’ first Formula E podium position and its second pole position in China.

He believes that his previous experience as an F1 test and simulator driver for Williams helped him get familiar with some of the complexities of the Gen 2 Formula E cars.

“If I’m honest, the pace and speed over one lap came quite naturally like it didn’t need teaching,” he said.

“We are constantly trying to adapt the settings on the [steering] wheel. We can do a lot of things to make the car better.

“It’s just understanding what those things do and I’ve done a lot of F1 simulation stuff over the years and I think it has really helped because I’ve always known what systems are doing, etc.

“You have to manage a lot of things. Today [at Sanya] I was constantly trying to come up with solutions to be better.”

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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