No regrets for Rowland despite 'struggle to survive' in Tokyo

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No regrets for Rowland despite 'struggle to survive' in Tokyo

Nissan's Oliver Rowland landed a home pole for Nissan at the inaugural Tokyo E-Prix, and rounded off the race in second with 'no regrets'.

Rowland celebrates a podium for Nissan on Formula Es first visit to Tokyo Japan

After struggling to sustain his energy levels while leading the race from P1 on the grid, and being the first car cutting through the air out front, Rowland ceded the win to Maserati MSG Racing's Maximilian Guenther with only eight laps to go.

"I'm happy - three podiums in a row and second place in a home race with a pole - you have to take the overall picture," said Nissan's Oliver Rowland moments after finishing runner-up in Formula E's first race in Tokyo.

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Heading to Tokyo, Rowland was on a roll after a third-place finish in Sao Paulo and started to pick up the pace after Free Practice 2 in Japan. After finishing the final practice session second fastest, Rowland went on to pinch Julius Baer Pole Position from Guenther in qualifying, around the 18-turn, 2.582km street circuit.

Tokyo E-Prix Race Highlights thumbnail

Stating the race up front, Rowland led for 25 laps before allowing Guenther to take the lead, which he then held for the remaining eight laps until the chequered flag.

"There's an element of disappointment after leading the whole race but no regrets - I did my best," admitted the Yorkshireman in the post-race media pen. "From the beginning, I was saving a lot of energy in the first sector, trying to keep the pack quite close together. It became obvious that I had good speed in the corners - the car was working really well."

"But after the Safety Car, it dropped the [energy] targets a lot because of the added laps and, where I was on the limit and just about surviving until the end, I couldn't survive anymore, so I had to let him go and sit in his slipstream to build it back up."

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After relinquishing the lead, Rowland failed to make up the ground between him and Gunether's Maserati, which powered out in front for the remaining eight laps, claiming his first win of the season.

Finishing a close second, Rowland admitted he had "no regrets" about his performance in Tokyo. "With the strategy we had, I did everything I could. If I'd had stayed out front, I wouldn't have survived on energy."


Now sitting third in the Drivers' World Championship standings with 54 points to his name, Rowland is just nine points adrift of World Championship leader Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team) and seven points off Jaguar TCS Racing's Nick Cassidy in second.

Hoping to continue his podium streak as Formula E heads to Misano, Italy on 13 & 14 April, Rowland will have one eye on the top spot in the standings as he hopes to close the minimal nine-point gap between him, Cassidy and Wehrlein at the top.