Oliver Rowland has secured a Formula 1 role with Williams for the 2018 season, having been named as the team’s official young driver.

Rowland, who claimed victories in Monaco and Hungary on his way to third place in the 2017 Formula 2 standings, will assist the team with simulator work at its Grove-based factory and will also drive Williams’ 2018 F1 challenger - the FW41 - during in-season testing at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya. 

The former Renault F1 development driver will combine his F1 duties alongside contesting the 2018/2019 FIA World Endurance Championship ‘superseason’ with the Ginetta-backed Manor LMP1 squad TRSM Racing. 

“I am pleased we have secured the services of Oliver, who is a talented and highly regarded young driver,” said deputy team principal Claire Williams. 

“He has raced at many Formula 1 circuits, and his experience and knowledge will complement the team’s ongoing engineering work. His addition to Williams will further strengthen the team.”

“I am immensely proud to be joining Williams Martini Racing as their official young driver,” added Rowland. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me and I will be working as hard as I possibly can to help them develop the car this season. 

“Williams is a British team with a fantastic heritage and history which has made it one of the most respected teams in the sport. It’s always been my ambition to get a role in Formula 1 and I’m very excited to be doing that with Williams. 

“They have always given young drivers the opportunity to progress so it’s now up to me to make a good impression and further my development as a driver.  Hopefully with my hard work in the simulator and test I can impress the team. 

“It’s certainly going to be an exciting challenge ahead and I want to help Williams as the team continues to work to close the gap to the front of the grid in 2018.”

At 25, the 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 champion is older than both Williams’ full-time drivers Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin, and younger than only reserve and development driver Robert Kubica (33), who will take part in his first Friday practice outing with the team at the Spanish Grand Prix in May. 


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