Sport Rowland to test for Racing Engineering, option to remain in F2 next year

13:35  30 november  2017
13:35  30 november  2017 Source:   Read Sport

Sirotkin to share Williams with Kubica in post-Abu Dhabi GP test

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Britain's Oliver Rowland will test for Racing Engineering in Abu Dhabi this weekend with his future still undecided for 2018. The 25- year old Yorkshireman will test the 2017 car in Abu Dhabi on Friday and Saturday with an option to race for the Spanish team next season.

Rowland to test with Racing Engineering . Date published: November 30 2017. The 25- year old Yorkshireman will test the 2017 car in Abu Dhabi on Friday and Saturday with an option to race for the Spanish team next season.

a man in a military uniform: Zak Mauger/FIA Formula 2 © Zak Mauger/FIA Formula 2 Zak Mauger/FIA Formula 2

Oliver Rowland will test for Racing Engineering in Formula 2’s post-season Abu Dhabi test, with an option for a race seat in 2018 with the Spanish outfit.

Rowland will test the car on Friday and Saturday, in order to assess one of his options for next season.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to get some time in another car in preparation for next year,” he said.

“They are a great team and I’m excited to see what I can do with the car.

“I’m still undecided of what route to take in 2018, the realistic aim now is to be in F1 in 2019 and that’s what I will be pushing for.”

Rowland triumphs in dramatic F2 Abu Dhabi feature

  Rowland triumphs in dramatic F2 Abu Dhabi feature Oliver Rowland claimed his third victory of the year in the final Formula 2 feature race of the 2017 season, beating polesitter Artem Markelov in Abu Dhabi. F2 champion Charles Leclerc seemed destined for his ninth podium of the season but was bizarrely beaten to the line by Antonio Fuoco after slowing just yards from the finish line. Rowland, who started fourth on the super-soft tyre, vaulted to third on the opening lap. On the same strategy, Markelov led the race until lap 6. Following their pitstops on lap 7 of 31, Rowland caught and passed Markelov at Turn 8. The pair demonstrated supreme pace on the soft tyre to close in on Leclerc and de Vries who were yet to make their mandatory pitstop. Losing one second per lap by the end of the stint, Leclerc emerged from his pitstop in third place, but 16 seconds behind Rowland. He was unable to catch the leading duo. Rowland’s third victory of 2017 was his first since the Hungary feature race in July. Beating Markelov, the result means that Rowland is now a near insurmountable 15 points clear of the Russian in the race to finish second in the championship. With Leclerc grounding to a near halt just yards before the finish line, his team-mate Fuoco stole the final step on the podium in a photo finish. The result means that Prema retains the lead of the team’s championship heading into the final race of the season.

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Renault’s F1 development driver Rowland was the only driver to consistently challenge eventual champion Charles Leclerc in 2017’s F2 championship.

Rowland, who raced for DAMS in 2017, was unlucky to only finish third in the drivers’ championship following disqualifications at Spa and Abu Dhabi through arguably no fault of his own.

“I was disappointed with my third place finish in last season’s Formula 2 Championship,” he added.

“I think me and the team deserved more but that’s racing.

“I would like to thank DAMS for all their hard work, winning in Monaco was the highlight of my career and I wish them every success in the future.

“Part of me wants to avenge that and try and win the championship next season but I will let my team decide what is best for my future – with lots of options on the table, we are in no rush to make a decision.”

The 25-year-old will take over from Norman Nato, and will test alongside European Formula 3 driver Maximilian Gunther on Friday, with his team-mate on Saturday, yet to be confirmed.

Williams in talks with Rowland over 2018 seat .
Williams Formula 1 team is in talks with British driver Oliver Rowland, over a potential 2018 race seat following Felipe Massa’s retirement. Robert Kubica was the overwhelming favourite for the seat, however, following his recent post-season Abu Dhabi test, he has come under increasing pressure from other candidates. The latest driver to be in talks with the team is Rowland, who was Charles Leclerc’s closest challenger in this year’s Formula 2 championship for the majority of the season, despite finishing third in the drivers’ championship. “My team are in talks with Williams, as they are with other teams. British car, British driver it fits well,” said Rowland. “Lots of drivers seem to be in the frame for 2018, so we will just have to see what happens.” The Renault development driver has landed back in the United Kingdom, after visiting Super Formula’s rookie and manufacturer test at Suzuka earlier in the week. Prior to his first taste of Super Formula machinery, Rowland tested for two days with Racing Engineering in F2’s post-season test in Abu Dhabi as he evaluates his options for 2018. Rowland joins fellow Renault-backed driver Sergey Sirotkin, Red Bull reject Daniil Kvyat and fellow Brit Paul di Resta in competing with Kubica for the second Williams seat in 2018.

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