Rowland Admits to making Markelov, Safety Car Mistakes at Silverstone


Oliver Rowland fell to third in the championship after the results at Silverstone - Credit: Zak Mauger/FIA Formula 2

Oliver Rowland dropped to third place in the championship standings after a mixed weekend at Silverstone, which started with a Feature race podium finish and concluded with a pair of penalties in the Sprint race that relegated him to seventeenth.

The DAMS driver qualified on the front row for his home race but fell behind Norman Nato at the start, and despite pressurising the Pertamina Arden driver, he was forced to look at the rear wing of the Frenchman’s car throughout the race.

“Best of the rest in both practice in qualifying!” said Rowland. “The car felt very well balanced and it’s great to start on the front row at your home race in front of the amazing Silverstone crowd.

“I had a slightly slow start in the Feature Race and third was all I could manage. Being on the podium’s great and we showed good pace.”

Starting sixth on the grid on Sunday, Rowland jumped to third early on, but a first lap defensive move on the Wellington Straight pushed Artem Markelov onto the grass, and he was subsequently handed a five-second time penalty for the offence.

A late safety car period bunched up the field, which meant that he would need something crazy to happen to score points, and he tried to make the best of it by backing the field up. However, the stewards deemed this to be illegal, and he was handed a further twenty-second penalty.

He had already dropped to tenth with the first penalty, but the second relegated him to seventeenth.

“I crossed the line fourth in the Sprint Race, but the penalty dropped me out of the points, which is obviously very disappointing,” said Rowland.

Rowland admitted that his move to defend from Markelov on Sunday morning or the way he attempted to manage his restart was not acceptable, and he insists that he will not make the same mistakes again, with the Briton feeling that

“After such a good start I ruined today’s race,” said Rowland on his Instagram page. “Sorry to Artem for lap one, and the safety car restart – wasn’t acceptable. [It] won’t happen again.”

“I’m disappointed I didn’t get third [in race two] because we probably deserved it,” he added to Autosport. “But it was just a bit of a mess the whole race so I’d rather just forget about it and move on.”