'Christmas come early' as Nissan's Rowland seals consecutive Season 10 podiums in São Paulo

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'Christmas come early' as Nissan's Rowland seals consecutive Season 10 podiums in São Paulo

Nissan's hot streak continued in São Paulo during Formula E's second E-Prix in Brazil, as Oliver Rowland steered to consecutive podiums - via some last corner magic at the Anhembi Sambadrome.

Nissan Rowland podium Sao Paulo Formula E Season 10

Rowland had started 11th on the grid and bemoaned a poor getaway from the grid. Nevertheless, the Yorkshireman was able to navigate two spells under Safety Car conditions and soaring track temperatures approaching 60 degrees celsius to pick off those around him. His Nissan powertrain seemingly among the best placed to cope with and manage the heat - and Sam Bird, of course, able to drive spectacularly to the win in the Nissan-powered NEOM McLaren.

RESULTS: The São Paulo E-Prix Round 4 classification

Heading into the final couple of laps, Jake Dennis' temperatures were critical, and the Porsche-powered Andretti had to manage things to the finish despite just laps prior looking like he was on for the win with pace aplenty and around 1.5% more usable energy than then-leaders Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) and Sam Bird (NEOM McLaren).

Rowland (Nissan) was able to capitalise as the reigning champion tried to fend off Wehrlein in the best possible fashion, as he sliced by both as the battled through the last corner, beating the pair in a sprint to the finish to third, with Wehrlein edging Dennis for fourth.

Christmas came early, says Rowland.

"The start was pretty poor - I got a load of wheelspin and lost a few positions but then I managed to pick some drivers off," said the 31-year-old. "Our plan was to wait for the ATTACK MODE a little bit and I was a bit worried as lot of the other guys around me took it, but I managed to make up a few positions and the car was feeling quite competitive.

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"I got to seventh through some good racing and fortune and I was happy there. Then, I realised after the second Safety Car that JEV [Jean-Eric Vergne, DS PENSKE] was struggling a little bit and made a bit of a mistake at the last corner. I sent it into Turn 1, he squeezed me but I made it through.

"Sixth felt like Christmas had come already then Antonio [Felix da Costa, TAG Heuer Porsche] started to derate so I got him for fifth. Then, in the last corner Pascal [Wehrlein] and Jake [Dennis] got into each other and I managed to take them both – I didn’t expect third. I knew through Turn 10 that they might be fighting, so I was ready.

"We had our simulations and we knew that it might be an issue and, to be honest, the team hadn’t said anything [about derating, to curtail heat concerns in the battery and powertrain] until I got a warning light on the dash with about seven laps to go. I felt a sense of panic from them where we thought we were under control but we weren’t but they took action quickly at that point and they managed it perfectly – I don’t think we could have managed it any better than we did. The expectation was perfectly on target."

Tommaso Volpe, Managing Director and Team Principal, said: "It was almost like beginning the season again after such a long break in between races! Qualifying was a bit frustrating, and we were unable to make the Duels. The race strategy was focused on recovery as much as possible and to score points, but we were also expecting the heat to be tough on the cars, so we had to be careful.

"Oli completed an amazing drive to the podium, our second in two races. He timed his final push perfectly and even overtook two cars at the very last corner of the race with an amazing move. Sacha [Fenestraz] had a more difficult race in the pack, but managed to make up several places, and was unlucky to finish just one position outside the points.

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"The race also marked the first victory for the Nissan e-4ORCE 04 car, with the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team making it a double podium for Nissan as a manufacturer. We've been working hard to make progress and today's result is proof of the good things we've been doing. Now we look forward to a brand new event in Tokyo, an exciting one for the team and we'll aim to continue our recent form there."

Nissan all-set for first home race in Formula E

As Volpe says, the whole team - and the paddock at large - are amped for Formula E's first visit to Tokyo, on what is set to be a really challenging, exciting circuit.

"I’m really looking forward to Tokyo," says Rowland. "There’ll be a bit of pressure now, inevitably, but we just need to go there with the same mentality, do the basics well and we know we’ve got a quick car. It sounds like a pretty interesting track and we’ll be in-front of all the big dogs at Nissan. If we do everything right I think we can achieve the same next time out in front of the Japanese fans."