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Rowland: Move for Race Lead “Too Risky”

Oliver Rowland explains why he didn’t make a challenge for the lead in Monaco…

Photo: Nissan NISMO

Oliver Rowland says he didn’t make a definitive overtaking attempt on Monaco E-Prix winner Jean-Eric Vergne because he didn’t want a repeat of a non-scoring weekend like his previous race at the Paris E-Prix.

Rowland took a second runner-up finish of his rookie Formula E season but elected not to make a risky move for the lead despite admitting that a move could have been possible.

“If I am honest you can [overtake], I could have gone to the outside in T3 when [Vergne] was defending but then I risk it and get passed by [Felipe] Massa, also there is a lot of rubber off line and it didn’t feel right,” Rowland told e-racing365.

“The best way for me to pass him would be to make a gap on the inside.

“There is a couple of times when there was about one car [width] and I could have put my nose but then I risk hitting him off and taking a penalty.”

Rowland confirmed that memories of his difficult Paris experience last month played a part in his decision not to attempt to take the lead from the DS Techeetah driver.

“Today, especially after we started 1-2 in Paris and threw it away, it wasn’t worth it,” Rowland explained.

“Paris wasn’t a big saving track, so I threw away, minus the rain and all the other crap that went wrong or I threw away.

“To be honest I thought Vergne was quite comfortable, it was strange how all of a sudden he just seemed to hit a cliff.”

Vergne told e-racing365 that he elected to control the pace of the race in the second phase of the E-Prix knowing that Rowland would find it difficult to make a clean move.

Rookie Rowland has largely out-performed his more experienced teammate Sebastien Buemi in recent races and has outscored him by 19 points.

Nissan e.dams moved in to fifth position in the teams’ standings after a 31-point haul in Monaco. It was the Japanese manufacturer’s best performance in Formula E to date.

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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