Oliver Rowland becomes Renault F1 development driver

Renault Sport

Renault has announced that Formula 2 racer Oliver Rowland will take up the role of development driver for its Formula 1 operation in 2017, graduating from its junior program.

Rowland, 24, won the World Series by Renault title in 2015 and scored four podium finishes through his first full GP2 campaign last year.

The Briton joined Renault’s young driver program last year, but will now become its designated development driver for 2017.

Alongside his F2 duties, Renault confirmed Rowland will “fulfil a simulator programme for the team as well as driving on track”, suggesting he could be in line to appear at at least one of the in-season tests.

“My aim has always been to get a role in Formula 1 so it’s great to see all my hard work pay off,” Rowland said.

“The Renault Sport Academy was the perfect training ground and the role of Development Driver is another great step after being within the Renault family for so many years with Formula Renault 2.0 and 3.5 and then the Academy too.

“I learnt a lot last year including working at Enstone in the simulator, so I feel well prepared for this role. I’m proud to be part of the team and I’ll be working hard to do everything I can to assist the team in their development of the R.S.17.”

Renault Sport Racing managing director Cyril Abiteboul added: “We know Oliver very well and we are very pleased to reward his work with this position with Renault Sport Formula 1 Team.

“Development Driver is an important position in a team and it is very interesting to have someone who already knows us well.”