Rowland: Win acts as confidence boost
26 May 2017 – Oliver Rowland says his victory in the Formula 2 Feature Race in Monaco will act as a confidence boost, as he slashed the gap to title leader Charles Leclerc.
Leclerc opened a 30-point advantage in the standings through taking pole position and cruised away from the pack in Friday's race, before a Safety Car period mid-distance disrupted proceedings.
Leclerc, who pitted one lap prior to his rivals, dropped to fourth, before tumbling outside of the points due to suspension damage, retiring shortly after.
Leclerc's problems elevated Rowland into the lead and he maintained his position across the remainder of the race, keeping Russian Time rival Artem Markelov at bay.
Rowland's triumph was his maiden success in F2/GP2, and his first win since the end of his title-winning Formula Renault 3.5 campaign in 2015.
"I knew yesterday when I qualified third that this time of year is all about scoring points, and making sure you're there and trying to build confidence within the team," he said.
"We're coming off the back of not the best season for them [DAMS] or for me, so it's important at the moment to score good points and give everyone confidence.
"In the second half of the year we can really push on and win the Feature Races."
Rowland also extended his sympathies to local driver Leclerc, amid problems for the Ferrari junior.
"I think he's pretty unlucky, I'm not quite sure what happened to him, with the pit-stop," he said.
"[But] credit to him, as a rookie he's doing a really good job."
Rowland will start Saturday's Sprint Race from eight place.