Rowland: ‘Formula 1 not my aim any more’

Date published: December 13 2018

Oliver Rowland: Formula 1 not my aim any more

British racer Oliver Rowland has revealed he is no longer focusing on trying to break into Formula 1.

The 26-year-old from Sheffield had worked his way up to being a development driver for Renault and was Williams‘ official junior driver in 2018.

But the ex-Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion now has a new challenge ahead of him in Formula E after signing for the Nissan e.dams team.

“I don’t think it’s my aim anymore at all,” Rowland told Motorsport.com after being asked whether Formula 1 was still his main ambition.

“In F1, you’ve got exceptional people, but maybe not the whole grid is the same. But in Formula E, if you look at what they’ve achieved, a lot of them deserve to be in F1 at some point or another.

“So, I’m not focusing on that so much anymore. I’ve got a big opportunity with Nissan and that can be long-term, so not so much on Formula 1 anymore.”

The opportunity for Rowland to join Nissan came after Red Bull were able to agree terms with the Formula E team over the early release of Alexander Albon, who now forms one half of Toro Rosso’s 2019 line-up.

As a result of the late switch Rowland has had very limited track time, but the team have given him assurances heading into the Formula E season opener this weekend.

“There’s pressure from myself a little bit. I want to do well,” he added.

“That’s normal, I’m a racing driver. I don’t want to go there and finish 10th or 11th, I want to go there and fight with the good guys.

“[But] they’ve made it quite clear that there’s absolutely zero pressure on me.”

Rowland also revealed that only another reserve role was on the cards for him in Formula 1 next season before Nissan came calling.

He said: “I had some options still to do more of the reserve stuff in Formula 1 and I’d have probably found something.

“My [2018] year was a bit messed up with the whole [Manor/Ginetta] LMP1 project, to be honest.

“I signed a deal to do that and it was a proper professional contract and stuff like that and it was a good step for me, although the car wasn’t quite ready and things went the way they did.

“It kind of stopped me from doing anything else.”

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