Oliver Rowland: “The car was fantastic today”

It was another strong weekend for Oliver Rowland at the Red Bull Ring, with the Racing Steps Foundation-backed Fortec Motorsports driver securing his fourth win of the season in race one before adding a runners-up spot in race two to extend his championship lead to twenty-six points.

Rowland revealed a high-downforce set-up was the key to his race one domination, when he finished 8.375s clear of DAMS driver Dean Stoneman despite two safety car periods.

“The car was fantastic today,” insisted Rowland on RenaultSport.com. “We chose to run with high-downforce and we knew that could have been a problem if the safety car was deployed despite us having a big advantage in the final sector.

“Dean was on a similar strategy. I made a mistake on the second re-start, but I was able to hold on to my advantage.”

After utilising the high-downforce set-up in race one, Rowland knew other drivers would do the same for race two, with the Briton being forced to settle for second behind main championship rival Matthieu Vaxiviere of Lotus as a result.

“[For race two] I knew that if I took the lead on the opening lap, I could win,” acknowledged Rowland. “I really liked the first three corners where we were very close, but then he [Vaxiviere] was a little quicker.

“We have extended our lead and we have to continue like this.”

The championship now takes a two-month hiatus, before returning at the beginning of September at Silverstone, where Rowland will receive the opportunity to test a Formula 1 car for the first time as a reward for leading the championship at this stage of the season.

“At Silverstone, the focus will be on the championship although driving the Red Bull with its V8 will be fantastic,” said Rowland.

“Thanks to World Series by Renault for the opportunity!”