Formula Renault 3.5 championship leader Oliver Rowland has expressed his excitement after driving the Red Bull F1 car this weekend at his home circuit of Silverstone.

The 23-year-old showcased the Red Bull RB8 as part of the team's regular Renault F1 showcase, his prize for leading the championship at the half-way stage. He has been joined by Red Bull reserve driver Antonio Felix da Costa who is himself a former race winner in FR3.5.

"It was better than I was expecting," he told Crash.net after his Red Bull chance. "Yeah, it was pretty amazing!"

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Rowland has long been a part of the World Series by Renault family, graduating from runner up of Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup to a main drive with Fortec last year. His time in the Red Bull, he says, is testament to the 3.5 litres car he has become accustomed to.

"It was maybe a little harder on the neck but it wasn't physically much harder to drive and the power wasn't much different so it wasn't too difficult," he continued.

FR3.5 - which will undergo some major changes next year following the announcement of Renault's withdrawal from the top-tier category - returns from a lengthy summer break, two months since the last outing in Austria.

Rowland leads Lotus' Matthieu Vaxiviere and Fortec team mate Jazeman Jaafar in the title standings. Four rounds of the F1 feeder series remain.

"At Silverstone, the focus will be on the championship although driving the Red Bull with its V8 engine will be fantastic," he said, fresh from his recent tasters in GP2.

One of four British racers this weekend, Rowland is joined by DAMS regular Dean Stoneman and Will Bratt who fills in for a double-booked Roberto Merhi at Pons Racing. Nick Yelloly has been drafted in by Czech team Lotus following their split with Meindert Van Buuren.