Reigning Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion Oliver Rowland is preparing for a maiden full GP2 campaign with MP Motorsport and has also secured Renault Sprt Academy backing.
The 23-year-old British driver made four wildcard appearances in the Formula 1 feeder series last year, two with MP Motorsport and two with Status Grand Prix, while combining his campaign with a dominant charge to the FR3.5 title with Fortec Motorsport.
Rowland, who is also backed up the Racing Steps Foundation, has opted for a full season in GP2 after his path into F1 was blocked due to the lack of available race seats in 2016. Nevertheless, with Renault academy support he is delighted to sign with MP Motorsport and is aiming to continue to make headlines.
"Having worked and lived with the MP Motorsport guys in the Netherlands throughout my second year in Eurocup, we developed a really strong relationship which I hope we can capitalise on in GP2 this year,” Rowland said. "We quickly re-established that productive partnership with a half decent debut at Silverstone last July. So I hope we can start where we left off and make a strong impression in the paddock in 2016."
MP Motorsport team manager Sander Dorsman is thrilled to secure the 23-year-old as his first signing to his GP2 driver line-up and understands that this year is vital for the Brit if he is looking to achieve his F1 dream.
“We have worked hard to make this reunion happen,” Dorsman said. "Oliver is a fantastic driver and the performances he delivered in Formula Renault 3.5 and in the MP Motorsport GP2 car last year show what an outstanding talent he is.
"We are acutely aware that for him this is a make or break year in terms of his Formula 1 aspirations. So we will be doing everything in our power to ensure we engineer a car that will enable him to deliver."
Rowland will now link up with the Renault Sport Academy before joining the team ahead of the pre-season GP2 test at Barcelona in March.