Whiplash of Misano wins and losses adds up for Rowland

Oliver Rowland feels the unusual 24-hour period in Misano in which he inherited one Formula E win after a post-race ruling, then lost another on the final lap, generated positive momentum overall for his Nissan team, despite the emotional roller coaster.

Rowland was awarded the victory in the first part of the Misano E-Prix after Antonio Felix da Costa was found to have an illegal throttle damper spring in his Porsche, but lost out in Sunday’s race after running out of usable energy five corners into the final lap.

“It’s never the way you want to win, right? You want to stand on top of the podium, and in some aspects, I don’t class it as a pure win because I didn’t stand on top of the podium,” Rowland admitted. “I think what the judgment was for after the race wasn’t performance enhancing, so I didn’t deserve to win that race, let’s say, because somebody beat me.


“What I will take is the points and the rest of the stuff that comes with it, and also the confidence for the team. We’ve put one on the board, now so it kind of relieves a little bit of pressure on that side moving forward.”

Rowland revealed that he had already left the track by the time the ruling was delivered, and was making his way to another hotel after a rough night before the first race day. Nevertheless, it wasn’t an unexpected call, with he and his team having a feeling something was coming after da Costa’s Porsche remained in scrutineering for a longer time than normal

“I actually had a lot of noise in my hotel on Friday night, and I think I slept an hour and a half,” he said. “So I was swapping hotels and walking between the two of them when I had a call from the team and they sort of informed me that we’d won the race.

“To be honest, it became quite apparent quite quickly after the race that there was something not quite right,” he added. “So we were aware that something was ongoing there and when a car stays in parc ferme for that long, obviously, there’s always a few questions asked.

After inheriting the Saturday win, Rowland nearly added a legitimate victory on Sunday. He had expected high temperatures to work in his favor and hamper the chasing Pascal Wehrlein but it was Rowland who ultimately suffered.

“We expected there to be some thermal limitation from the battery if you sat in the slipstream, very much like you saw in Sao Paulo — a lot of cars finished with a lot of energy still in the car because they weren’t able to use it because of the battery temp,” Rowland explained.

“So by taking the lead, I was also ensuring that I wasn’t going to have any battery temp issues. He (Wehrlein) was in my slipstream for the majority of the race — he kind of built up that energy but he wasn’t able to use it, and the team told me at some point that he’s going to struggle with temperatures and derating, and that’s why he can’t really attack you.

“I think what was quite frustrating is I still had the same energy as (Jake) Dennis, (Nico) Mueller and (Nick) Cassidy and I’d been leading for five laps already. So I was in a very strong position compared to the others if I’d have just held station for 15 laps, to go a bit longer. But it’s also very normal when a Porsche has one or two percent more (energy) than you — it’s almost every race I get told that — and I knew my targets when I could lead the race and when I wouldn’t be able to get past.”

Ultimately, it was the team’s assumption that Wehrlein’s energy advantage would amount to nothing, because of an issue that never came — and Rowland’s subsequent push to hold him off — that cost the British driver.

“In hindsight, the team said it wasn’t that obvious,” he said. “I was very similar apart from Wehrlein and Cassidy, and I think the team just assumed at that point that they weren’t able to use that energy because of the battery temp issues.”

Story originally appeared on Racer