ABB FIA Formula E Championship rookie Oliver Rowland says he would be “nowhere” without his “brother figure” Nissan e.dams team-mate Sebastien Buemi.
Rowland scored his first FE podium and pole position at the previous race in Sanya and has been more than a match for his 2015/16 champion team-mate Buemi, despite entering the series with only one day’s testing experience after a last-minute call from Nissan to replace the Formula 1-bound Alex Albon.
He credited Buemi as part of the reason he has quickly gotten up to speed in a series in which rookies have often struggled.
“I didn’t expect to be quite as good as what I was. It was quite a surprise,” Rowland told FormulaSpy.
“[Buemi’s] massively [helped]. Without him I’d be nowhere near where I am.
“He helped me to be able to understand everything and be almost like a brother or a father figure, especially in the first three races where I found it a bit tough and he was there to help me understand and was just really nice in general.
“He’s a massive asset to the team and me.”
The 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 champion also revealed his lateness joining the Nissan squad meant he had to go on a vigorous weight loss campaign:
“I think I lost six kilograms in the space of six, seven weeks. I did what I could. When I got the call, I wasn’t 100% ready. I’d been doing nothing for the last year,” he said.
“The big one for me is at the end of the year, I’ll be able to go away and prepare properly.”