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Oliver Rowland in Nissan Formula E Team kit

Rowland returns to Formula E after mid-season departure

The Brit surprised fans with his sudden departure from Mahindra at the end of May

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Oliver Rowland will return to Formula E for Season 10 after parting ways with Mahindra mid-season. 

Nissan Formula E Team drivers Sacha Fenestraz and Oliver Rowland
Nissan’s 2024 driver lineup: Sacha Fenestraz and Oliver Rowland. (Image credit: Nissan Formula E Team)

Rowland will drive for Nissan Formula E Team, partnering Sacha Fenestraz, who will be embarking on his second year in the championship. The move sees Rowland return to the team he has spent the majority of his Formula E career racing for. The Brit completed three full seasons with the Japanese team. With Nissan, he took victory at the Berlin E-Prix. Rowland also enjoyed five podium finishes during his time with the team.

“I’m really excited, it’s a bit of a homecoming for me, back to the place I started my Formula E journey and somewhere I had a lot of success,” Rowland shared in Nissan’s press release. “The team has been on a great trajectory over the last year, with performances improving.”

“I’m confident Sacha and I will make a strong pairing, he showed incredible speed in his first season,” continued Rowland. “I’m looking forward to getting back to work, ready to go and can’t wait to see what we can do as a team.”

Rowland returns

Oliver Rowland’s Formula E departure was sudden and unforeseen. The news came at the end of May that Rowland would be replaced by Roberto Mehri, following a “mutual agreement” that Rowland would “step aside for the next seven races”.

Although Rowland was contracted to race for Mahindra through to 2025, it was clear that the Brit was unhappy with the team. But Rowland’s frustration was understandable. This year was an extremely tricky one for Mahindra. Both Mahindra and its customer team, ABT Cupra, finished at the bottom of the championship standings.

The team peaked with a third-place finish from Lucas di Grassi at the season opener. This would prove to be a result that Mahindra could not replicate. What followed was a series of zero-point finishes and a handful of DNFs. A particular low point for the team was the Cape Town E-Prix, in which none of the Mahindra-powered cars were able to start the race.

Oliver Rowland in Mahindra racing overalls.
Oliver Rowland joined the Banbury-based team in 2022. (Image credit: autoX)

Speaking to The Race, Rowland shared his dissatisfaction with the position he had been in this season. “I’m kind of at a phase where I’m still quite young, I have a good amount of experience, so it is a really important phase in my career where I need to get results, hopefully championships, and really utilise that potential,” said Rowland.

He continued, “I think that’s why the last couple of years became more and more frustrating, because I felt like I was in a position where I could really deliver [but wasn’t able to].”

A lack of results took its toll on Rowland if his hasty departure from the team is anything to go by. But the decision to leave mid-season could prove to have been a wise one. Nissan showed greater pace than Mahindra this year, achieving a podium with the outgoing Norman Nato and pole position with Sacha Fenestraz.

Featured Image Credit: Nissan Formula E Team

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