Oliver Rowland became a FIA Formula 2 Championship race winner around the streets of Monaco on Friday, and confirmed himself as a genuine contender for the title in the process.
The DAMS driver assumed the lead when he benefited from the introduction of the safety car, jumping ahead of then-leader Charles Leclerc, but once there he was never headed and earned his first victory since winning the Formula Renault 3.5 Series back in 2015.
Rowland finished ninth during Saturday’s Sprint race, but despite missing out on points for the first time in 2017, the British racer was delighted with his weekend.
“The team did a great job in race one, everybody deserves it,” said Rowland. “Starting from third is never the easiest, but we remained calm and I’m really pleased with the outcome.
“It’s always difficult with the reverse grid in race two, but overall I’m extremely happy with the win and the points collected.”
DAMS Team Principal Francois Sicard was delighted to see Rowland triumph in Monaco, especially so soon after Sebastien Buemi did likewise in the Principality in FIA Formula E, although he admitted the Briton was fortunate to hit the front thanks to the timing of the safety car.
“A victory in Monaco is always extraordinary, especially after we won here two weeks ago with Renault e.dams in the FIA Formula E Championship,” said Sicard.
“The timing of the safety car was fortunate, but you have to be there to win it and Rowland drove a superb race. The points we scored were vital and have really closed the gap in the drivers’ standings.”