Warwick tips Rowland to surprise in GP2
5 April 2016 – Former Formula 1 driver Derek Warwick believes protégé Oliver Rowland has the capacity to "surprise" in the GP2 Series this year, having earned the backing of the revived Renault Sport Academy.
Rowland, 23, swept to last year's Formula Renault 3.5 title to succeed Carlos Sainz Jr. as champion and this season will compete full-time in GP2 with MP Motorsport, having participated in selected outings in 2015.
Warwick has guided Rowland for several years and, despite strong opposition, is confident that the youngster can emerge as a front-runner in Formula 1's feeder series.
"Oliver will be racing with MP Motorsport this year," Warwick said in an interview with Renault Sport.
"The team doesn't have a long history in the championship, but we believe it's a team that we can bring a lot to and win races with.
"Oliver has a big job ahead of him, but with the support of Renault Sport and the Racing Steps Foundation we hope to surprise a few people."
Warwick believes that strong results from Rowland could lead to an increase involvement with the manufacturer.
"I'd like to think that there's an opportunity for Oliver to impress the important people in Renault Sport and with that could come further opportunities," he added.
"We know that our main programme is GP2 and around the middle of the year, Renault Sport will look at how he's doing in the championship and other opportunities could come from there."