Formula One: South Yorkshire driver handed key position at Renault Sport

South Yorkshire driver Oliver Rowland was today unveiled as the development driver for Renault Sport’s Formula One team.

The 24-year-old was selected after graduating from the team’s academy programme and following an impressive season in the GP2 series.

Rowland’s appointment sees him move closer to fulfilling his dream of competing on the F1 circuit.

“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 I feel it’s another great step after being within the Renault family for so many years.”

Rowland (pictured), from Penistone, has spent much of the past 12 months testing in a simulator at the team’s Oxfordshire base.

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

“It’s a very useful tool and you can see the benefit to the team so I’m happy to put in the hours. It helps with the preparation and development of the car, it enables the engineers to build their relationships with the drivers before the start of a season and before a particular Grand Prix. It’s good to be part of so much effort going into this year’s car. I’m doing everything I can to work with the team on the goal of moving forward up the grid.”

Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport Racing’s managing director, said: “We know Oliver very well and we are very pleased to reward his work with this position with Renault Sport Formula One Team. Development Driver is an important position in a team and it is very interesting to have someone who already knows us.”