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Formula E Portland ePrix I

How Collet went from Indy NXT test to shock Formula E debut for ill Rowland

Caio Collet recalls how his late call-up to replace the unwell Oliver Rowland at Nissan unfolded as he faces his Formula E race debut at Portland

Caio Collet, Nissan Formula E Team

Caio Collet, Nissan Formula E Team

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Caio Collet believes making his Formula E debut at such short notice will be “a hard task” as he replaces Oliver Rowland at Nissan for the Portland E-Prix.

The Brazilian has been drafted in to replace Rowland this weekend after the two-time Formula E race winner was declared ill ahead of the American event.

Motorsport.com has learned that Rowland was suffering with dizziness and nauseousness as early as last weekend and visited a doctor after his symptoms didn’t improve.

Nissan pushed the Briton’s flights back until Thursday evening in the hope he would be able to attend this weekend’s double-header, as he sits only 36 points behind championship leader Nick Cassidy with four races remaining this season.

But after Rowland’s condition failed to improve enough the decision was taken to replace him with Collet.

“I feel really sorry for Oliver, he’s one of the best drivers that I came across and fighting for the championship, I think this situation is really unfortunate for him,” Collet told Motorsport.com.

Caio Collet, Nissan Formula E Team, Nissan e-4ORCE 04

Caio Collet, Nissan Formula E Team, Nissan e-4ORCE 04

Photo by: Dom Romney / Motorsport Images

Collet will make his Formula E race debut having tested with the team in both Misano and Berlin’s rookie sessions after joining the Japanese manufacturer as a reserve and simulator driver at the start of 2024.

The 22-year-old was already Stateside as he currently competes in Indy NXT, where he sits third in the standings, and was put on standby as early as Wednesday that he might be called into action for Nissan.

“I’m racing in Indy NXT and I was supposed to test today and I was not supposed to be here, said Collet.

“And then on Wednesday I had the call that I had to be here because Oliver was feeling quite unwell.

“I thought to myself, what are the chances [of racing], one out of 10. I just had to be here and be ready, and this morning we got the confirmation that he’s feeling very bad and not coming.”

Collet enters the event after no sim work of the venue and having yet to sample it in-person, with Portland scheduled for later in the Indy NXT campaign, but is hopeful of a points finish over the weekend.

“I didn’t go back to Paris to do any sim but the team are doing an incredible job to prepare myself the best we can and I think I feel hopefully ready,” he added.

“It’s quite hard to expect anything but just trying to do my best, see if I can pick up some pieces from the race.

“I think the race here will be quite chaotic like we saw similar to Sao Paulo or Shanghai, so just stay out trouble and hopefully pick up some points, but I think will be a hard task.”

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