Late September at Le Mans. At the foot of the Circuit de la Sarthe's steeply raked pitlane grandstand, Oliver Rowland stands shoulder-to-shoulder with his Fortec crew.
Sheffield's coming man has just wrapped up the Formula Renault 3.5 crown with a round to spare, sparking a deserved release of euphoria. Rowland has defined the weekend's agenda with yet another dominant performance, the frequency of which has led many to believe his is a talent worthy of Formula 1.
Joining in the celebrations, and holding the top-left corner of a Union Flag-emblazoned Rowland banner, is Racing Steps Foundation co-ordinator Derek Walters. For Pirelli's former motorsport manager, a bold tactical play worthy of Machiavelli has finally paid off.