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Rowland: Lap counter "miss-procedure" to blame for lost Formula E Misano win

Oliver Rowland claims a technical problem with the onboard lap counter was the reason the Nissan driver ran out of energy on the last lap while leading the Misano E-Prix.

Oliver Rowland, Nissan Formula E Team, Nissan e-4ORCE 04

Photo by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images

The Briton looked on course for a double Formula E success of the weekend in the second race at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli having taken the lead with five laps remaining.

Once in front, Rowland began to pull away from the chasing pack with only eventual winner Pascal Wehrlein able to keep in touch.

Entering the last tour of the 26-lap contest, Rowland had opened up a 1.4s advantage over the Porsche driver but had been on approximately 2% less energy in the closing stages, which proved pivotal as he came to a crawl half a lap from home.

Speaking post-race, Rowland admitted that he wasn’t aware of his dire energy situation until “it was telling me it should be the last corner and I was going into Turn 4” and that an issue with the lap counter was to blame for the miscalculation.

“How it works is there should be a lap zero so it doesn’t count [at the start], but for some reason when I crossed the startline it dropped to that, I think it was a miss-procedure,” he told Autosport.

“I was quick in the corners and I was just following my target and I did the strategy as we planned.

“This sort of thing has never happened to us, nowadays it’s such a simple [procedure], it should have been checked and maybe we should have doubted it.”

Oliver Rowland, Nissan Formula E Team, is interviewed on the grid by David Coulthard, Karun Chandhok

Oliver Rowland, Nissan Formula E Team, is interviewed on the grid by David Coulthard, Karun Chandhok

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

Rowland inherited his and Nissan’s first Formula E victory since Berlin in 2020 earlier in the weekend at Misano after on-the-road winner Antonio Felix da Costa was disqualified for a technical infringement.

It put Rowland to the top of the standings following a run of four podium finishes in succession as he and Nissan have emerged as unlikely title challengers this year.

“It’s frustrating but if I felt like this was my only chance to win all year I would be really disappointed, but I feel like there’s plenty to come,” said Rowland.

“I’m positive about the points we’ve scored so far and what’s coming is good.

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“We’re a massive underdog, so we can go and have fun, keep the car on the limit and try and do the best races that we can.

“Unfortunately to win a championship days like today can’t happen and it’s when you have to maximise, you have to bank it.

“Let’s see, we’re still a young team with plenty to learn and mistakes like this to iron out, but the idea of this year is to go through that process so next year we won’t make the same mistakes.”

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