Mahindra: Rowland's form against Buemi key to FE driver choice

Mahindra Racing team principal Dilbagh Gill says Oliver Rowland’s impressive record against 2015/16 Formula E champion Sebastien Buemi was a key factor in signing him for the 2022 season.

Listen to this article

One-time FE race winner Rowland will leave Nissan e.dams after three seasons to replace Alex Lynn at Mahindra in a multi-year deal, partnering fellow Brit Alexander Sims.

The 29-year-old compared favourably against Buemi during his spell with the Japanese marque, finishing within a point of his experienced teammate in his sophomore campaign with a maiden victory in Berlin.

As Nissan's form dwindled in 2021 and Buemi endured his worst-ever season in FE, he continued to impress with podium finishes at Puebla and Berlin to finish just 22 points behind champion Nyck de Vries in the standings - although he did make some obvious errors over the course of the year.

Gill said Rowland's qualifying prowess and racecraft made him an ideal candidate for Mahindra, and he forms a strong line-up for the team alongside incumbent Sims.

"We are looking to build for the future and with Oliver Rowland we have one of the best qualifiers in Formula E," said Gill. 

"When you look at him even historically, he has benchmarked himself against one of the best drivers in Formula E, which is Sebastien Buemi.

"I think Oliver has really come strongly over these three years, where he has progressed. We have a history together, a positive history. What we are looking at is like Oliver's skills which he brings in qualifying for example and the robustness in racing." 

"We have to go forward now and put our claim out there on the ground and between Alexander Sims and Oliver we are not going to be conceding any inch going forward.

"I think that's something really important because in Formula E it is pretty hectic, it gets pretty frantic in the races as you know so we have to sort of maintain position. 

"We have a car which we know qualifies up front, and from there we can continue our progression. I'm really pleased with what we have right now with the strengths of both our drivers Alexander Sims and Oliver."

Lynn's triumph in the second of the two races at London ended a win drought for Mahindra stretching back to the Marrakesh E-Prix in January, 2019.

Gill credited Lynn for his role in Mahindra's resurgence, having joined the team during the middle of a difficult 2019/20 season to replace the Porsche-bound Pascal Wehrlein.

"If you look at the strengths of Lynn, Lynn was a fantastic driver on our team who really contributed a lot," said Gill. 

"He stepped in at pretty difficult circumstances midway through a season and straight away in the six races in Berlin he was pretty strong and continued onto this year. 

"At the same time we had a certain period of time we were contracted with Lynn and we went through it and we wish him the best going forward."

Oliver Rowland, Dilbagh Gill, Mahindra Racing CEO and Team Principal

Oliver Rowland, Dilbagh Gill, Mahindra Racing CEO and Team Principal

Photo by: Mahindra Racing

Rowland: Nissan's slump didn't play role in exit

After finishing runner-up to the DS Techeetah in 2019/20, Nissan was one of the favourites to topple the Chinese squad in the penultimate season of the Gen2 era.

But the Japanese marque endured a winless campaign as the belated introduction of its new powertrain failed to deliver on expectations, and it eventually finished one place behind Mahindra in 10th place in the championship.

Asked if a change of fortunes at Nissan played a role in his decision to join Mahindra, the team with which he made his FE debut back in 2015, Rowland said: "I wouldn't say so. Not really. 

"Of course, when you make these decisions you look at the momentum of teams. Clearly, Nissan had a good end to season 6 but it didn't realise materialise in season 7. 

"However, if you look at the speed we had, it wasn't bad. In the races we seemed to struggle more than probably what we should have done. But likewise, had I not crashed in London with Stoffel [Vandoorne] even though I had a pretty unfortunate season, I would have been in the top three in the championship. 

"I'm sure everybody has those things to complain about. In the end the performance was reasonably okay but probably didn't match our expectations from the end of season 6.

"Of course, momentum is part of these decisions, but I wouldn't say Nissan was performing any better than what the Mahindra guys were last year, to be honest."

shares
comments

Related video

Rowland replaces Lynn at Mahindra for 2022 Formula E season
Previous article

Rowland replaces Lynn at Mahindra for 2022 Formula E season

Next article

Di Grassi joins Venturi for 2022 Formula E season

Di Grassi joins Venturi for 2022 Formula E season
The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title Prime

The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title

After Nyck de Vries was crowned Formula E champion in 2021, his Mercedes teammate Stoffel Vandoorne stepped forward this season as the Gen2 era and his team bowed out. As he did on the way to the GP2 crown in 2015, the Belgian achieved a peerless level of consistency and was only outside the points once, with his sole win in Monaco sufficient to head off a chasing pack headed by Mitch Evans

Formula E
Sep 19, 2022
Why Bird can bounce back after a tough 2021-22 Formula E season Prime

Why Bird can bounce back after a tough 2021-22 Formula E season

With his winning streak coming to an end this season, the 2021-22 Formula E season was tumultuous for Sam Bird, failing to gather momentum as Jaguar generally struggled. But the long-term favourite looks forward to bouncing back next season as the championship enters its new era

Formula E
Aug 30, 2022
What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2 Prime

What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2

The 2021-2022 Formula E season finale brought the curtain down on the Gen2 era of the all-electric world championship. It elevated FE to new heights, fulfilling its intended directive. While it is a good launching pad for the impending Gen3 cycle, there are certain aspects the series must tackle for the new era to have the same impact as its predecessor

Formula E
Aug 16, 2022
The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge Prime

The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge

The odds were heavily stacked in Stoffel Vandoorne’s favour to capture the Formula E crown at the Seoul finale, but chief rival Mitch Evans applied maximum pressure with victory in the first race. It meant Vandoorne had to show his resolve to reproduce the key qualities he held all season to complete his march to the title

Formula E
Aug 15, 2022
Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title? Prime

Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title?

Stoffel Vandoorne is on the brink of the Formula E title with a commanding lead ahead of the Seoul finale, but both rivals and unknowns still stand in his way. Here’s a run through of what Vandoorne must overcome to clinch the championship and how his competition will look to pull off the biggest of shocks.

Formula E
Aug 10, 2022
How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon Prime

How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon

It might not look like the most glittering of Formula E campaigns, but Dragon Penske’s youngster has caught the eye of those who count despite his future remaining unclear. Regardless of the distortion, Sergio Sette Camara has a clear vision of what he’s focused on and how to get there.

Formula E
Aug 4, 2022
How Formula E's title contenders were upstaged in London Prime

How Formula E's title contenders were upstaged in London

The penultimate stop on Formula E's world tour took in London's ExCeL, where the championship contenders were upstaged by two first-time winners in 2022. Andretti’s Jake Dennis kept the home fires burning in the first race as Venturi’s Lucas di Grassi claimed the second, but two consistent finishes mean its advantage Stoffel Vandoorne heading to the Seoul finale.

Formula E
Aug 1, 2022
The ex-F1 racer turned team boss adapting to a FE title fight Prime

The ex-F1 racer turned team boss adapting to a FE title fight

For the second year in a row, the Venturi team is in the thick of the fight for Formula E title glory with Edoardo Mortara. That's despite a change to a more meritocratic qualifying system, which was expected to give the works Mercedes team an edge, and ex-Formula 1 racer Jerome d'Ambrosio being new in the team principal hot seat. As he tells Motorsport.com, it's a challenge he's revelling in

Formula E
Jul 26, 2022