Oliver Rowland aiming for Renault seat in 2018

With Oliver Rowland eyeing up a seat at Renault in 2018, Chris Soulsby looks at the Briton's chances of joining the team next season.

With Jolyon Palmer’s days at Renault being numbered, Oliver Rowland is aiming for a full time F1 race seat with the team in 2018, providing that he can excel in Formula 2.

Oliver Rowland aiming for Renault seat in 2018

In an interview with Motorsport.com, Rowland said: “It’s quite clear for me that I have to do my job first before I start looking and bigging myself up for that drive. I need to improve a little bit in F2. I’ve been in the [Renault] factory a lot, behind closed doors, I think we have a good relationship and, you know, it’ll come down to me doing a good job in F2, if I have a chance to get the seat. But I don’t see any reason – up against anybody, I think I can be as quick as anybody and I’ve showed that I’m consistent, so I don’t see any reason why I can’t be in the frame.”

Rowland joined Renault’s young driver program in February 2016, and has since been promoted to the role of development driver. Currently, the Briton competes in the Formula 2 Championship for DAMS, and has impressed consistently throughout 2017, having finished on the podium four times in the first eight races of the season, including securing his maiden win in the series in Monaco. Currently, the driver lies in second place in the Driver’s Championship, 42 points behind leader, Charles Leclerc – a driver who has dominated the series in 2017.

After Jolyon Palmer was signed to partner Nico Hulkenberg for 2017, the 26 year old has failed to impress the team, being consistently slower than his team mate in qualifying and in the race, meaning that he has not finished in the points once so far while Hulkenberg has on four occasions.

This has led to a number of drivers being linked to Palmer’s seat for 2018, including McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, former driver Robert Kubica, and reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin. With Oliver Rowland now dropping his hat in the ring, the battle for the second seat at Renault for 2018 is already looking intense after only eight races of the 2017 Season.

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