After a disappointing qualifying session in which he only claimed the eighth-fastest time in his group, resulting in a 16th-place grid slot, Rowland made excellent progress in the second half of the race.
The Yorkshireman had broken into the top 10 by lap 33, and then dispatched an ailing Nick Cassidy and Stoffel Vandoorne to sit eighth and on course for a solid haul of points.
But after Porsche had enacted its strategy to extend the race to 40 laps, Mahindra had gambled on the race going one lap shorter, leaving Rowland in an energy predicament – which sent him tumbling down the order to finish 16th.
Rowland reckoned Porsche had indulged in a bit of gamesmanship in its decision to take the race to 40 laps, and simply wanted to show how much it had in reserve.
He added that in most situations, Mahindra’s strategy to aim for 39 laps would have usually worked out.
“The Porsche pace was quite impressive. I think they probably did that last lap just to show everyone how good they were to be honest,” said Rowland.
“I think nine times out of 10 we would have done one less and it’d have worked. It is what it is.
Rowland says he could take a lot of encouragement from his overall pace, admitting it was simply a case of taking the wrong call on race length.
“Yeah, I was pretty quick, I think.” Rowland explained.
“I just got in a bit of a mess in the beginning, but I had good energy. And then I think the team just decided to go with a 39 and stick with it.
“The others were kind of in the middle, I think they weren’t really sure what to do.”
“I’m pretty happy because we had pretty decent pace.
“The car was quite okay so yeah, I’m quite happy.”
Oliver Rowland, Mahindra Racing, Mahindra M7Electro
Photo by: Andreas Beil
Rowland added that he was looking forward to April’s Rome E-Prix, and felt that he was capable of claiming a strong result following encouraging pace in last year’s races in the Italian capital.
Then driving for the Nissan e.dams team, Rowland qualified third for the first race after topping his group, and was only denied points from the second after taking a 10-second time penalty for causing a collision.
“I was very fast there last year, and it’s a circuit I really like. We know we’ve got some things to improve between now and then,” he added.
“So hopefully we can do that in the break and and we can come down there but I’m pretty confident we can be good.”