British Racing Drivers’ Club President Derek Warwick reveals that protégé Oliver Rowland is “in contact with two F1 teams” after dominating the 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 Series.
The 23-year-old claimed a record eight wins and added another five podiums en route to becoming the most successful winner in World Series by Renault’s flagship category.
According to Warwick, who regularly attended WSR events to support Rowland this season, the Racing Step Foundations-backed racer’s achievements have not gone unnoticed.
“Oliver dominated the season with style!” said the former F1 driver. “The World Series by Renault provided him a superb opportunity to demonstrate his talent and the future promises to be exciting!
“We are speaking with a lot of people about his future. Many are convinced about his incredible talent. Several teams in the GP2 Series have shown an interest and we are also in contact with two F1 teams and others in the DTM.”
Having raced for four years in the World Series package, the Barnsley-born racer, who also had a couple of impressive GP2 outings in 2015 (see picture), feels ready to take the next step but also remains grounded.
“I debuted in Formula Renault 2.0 before stepping up to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series,” said Rowland. “It is a first-rate driver development academy and I don’t think there is a better school to progress as a driver.
“And nothing of what I have said can match the accomplishments some of the former drivers have done today. I must still remain patient to know about my future, but F1 is not an impossibility.”
With Haas F1 Team poised to confirm Esteban Gutierrez for 2016 and Lotus recently announcing Jolyon Palmer alongside Pastor Maldonado, this leaves Manor as the only option for Rowland to secure a fully-fledged F1 role next year.
The Briton has already sampled F1 machinery twice in his career, driving the McLaren MP4-26 after winning the 2011 McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award, and testing the Red Bull RB8 earlier this year for being the mid-season FR 3.5 points leader.
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