Oliver Rowland enjoyed his first day of testing in a Formula 1 car on Tuesday, with the former Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion completing one hundred and twenty-one laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for Williams Martini Racing.
The Briton was confirmed as the teams Official Young Driver ahead of the 2018 season and took to the track in the FW41 on Tuesday, two days after the conclusion of an extremely difficult weekend for the team at the same circuit where neither Lance Stroll nor Sergey Sirotkin finished inside the top ten.
Rowland finished ninth quickest on the day with a best time of 1:20.009s and he thanked the team for giving him the opportunity to run the car in Spain and he hopes the feedback he provided can help the team move forward.
“Today was really good,” said Rowland. “We completed a lot of laps and worked through our programme.
“It was nice to get my first proper run in an F1 car. In general, the team has learnt quite a bit so we are happy. I actually felt quite comfortable in the car and we got the times down pretty quickly. I didn’t drive as fast as I could as I couldn’t risk crashing, so I didn’t push it too much.
“This morning we went through quite a lot of stuff on new and old tyres so it was interesting to get a feel for everything. I would like to thank Williams for this opportunity which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, I hope my feedback helps the team move forwards.”
Dave Robson, the Performance Projects – Principal Engineer at Williams, felt Rowland did a ‘superb’ job during his first day in the car, which saw the team a lot of different things as the team sought to find answers to why they showed themselves so poorly last weekend.
“It’s been a really good day of testing,” said Robson. “Oliver’s got through in excess of 120 laps which, given this was achieved within a large number of very short runs, is a phenomenal number.
“The car has worked really well and we got through an awful lot of test items and we have a lot of data to go through tonight. For his first day testing with us, Oliver has done an absolutely superb job.”