Nick Heidfeld’s recent wrist operation, following the steering wheel snapping out of his hand during the Malaysia Formula E race last month, has resulted in replacement driver Oliver Rowland stepping in for the upcoming Uraguay leg of the ePrix in two weeks time.
The second Brit to currently star on the line-up (and Both are called Oliver, too, strangely), the young Sheffield star has already shown a lot of promise in other race series.
An upbeat Heidfeld commented optimistically (and somewhat festively) about the switch-up: “During the Putrajaya ePrix, I damaged a ligament in my left wrist when the steering snapped out of my hand. On the advice of my doctors, I have undergone an operation to repair it. Unfortunately, this means that I will miss the next race in Punta del Este but I wish the team well and hope they return from Uruguay with a Christmas stocking full of points.”
Who is Oliver Rowland?
Born in 1992 in Sheffield, 23-year-old Rowland left a successful karting career at the age of 18 to join various rounds of the 2010 UK Winter Series of Formula Renault with the CRS Racing team.
2011 saw his first full season in Formula Renault, which included a run of four consecutive podium finishes, proving himself enough to step up to Formula Renault 3.5 in 2014. Finishing fourth, Rowland went on to win the 2015 championship with the Fortec Motorsport team.
Here’s what he had to say about his shift into the electric hot seat: “After a successful year, I am excited to have this opportunity to extend my season further and race the M2Electro. Formula E represents many aspects of the future of motorsport and it gained huge traction in the first season. It has one of the most competitive driver line-ups and I am looking forward to some close racing among them and I hope to show what I can do. It will be a steep learning curve to get to grips with the new electric racing technology but I’m sure that once the visor goes down we will have some fun. I intend to make the most of this opportunity and extract the maximum out of the car. Thank you to Mahindra Racing for the opportunity and I wish Nick Heidfeld a quick recovery.”