Mahindra Racing replaces Rowland with immediate effect
Mahindra Racing and Oliver Rowland have departed ways mere days before the Jakarta E-Prix with the British driver replaced with former Formula 1 driver Roberto Merhi.
It is expected that the Spaniard will drive for the remaining seven races of Season 9 alongside Lucas di Grassi, due to official reserve driver Jehan Daruvala’s Formula 2 commitments.
Merhi has already jumped in a Gen3 Formula E car with Mahindra Racing at the recent Berlin Rookie Test.
“It’s a huge honour for me to step in and represent Mahindra Racing for the races in Jakarta,” said Merhi.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity and I’m determined to make the most of it.
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“I had a chance to drive the M9Electro at the rookie test in Berlin but Formula E is very different to any of the other series I’ve raced in so the learning curve will be steep.
“But I feel ready, excited and up for the challenge.”
Rowland joined Mahindra Racing ahead of the 2021-2022 season and scored a podium finish in Seoul.
But in this year’s campaign, the Brit has only scored two points finishes, sixth in Hyderabad and 10th in Berlin, leaving him in nineteenth place with just nine points in the Standings.
Rowland’s race came to a premature end in Monaco when he crashed and sustained a hand injury that required him to be checked up on X-ray at a local hospital, but was ultimately cleared.
It was expected that Rowland would return for the Indonesian doubleheader.
The team stated that a ‘mutual agreement’ between Rowland and Mahindra Racing meant that he would be replaced with immediate effect.
Mahindra Racing’s CEO, Frederic Bertrand added, “We are delighted to welcome Roberto to the Mahindra Racing team.”
“Roberto has impressive experience in top-level racing and a good track record in major championships.
“He had a great run with us at the Rookie Test in Berlin last month and we could see he had the potential to become a great asset for the Mahindra Racing team.
“It’s not easy to jump in mid-season, but Roberto has experience of working with the team, so I’m sure he will slot into the team brilliantly.”
Another change in the Formula E paddock for the Jakarta E-Prix weekend includes David Beckmann stepping in for Avalanche Andretti’s Andre Lotterer as the German spends the weekend preparing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans with his Porsche LMDh team.
The Jakarta E-Prix starts on 2 June in Jakarta, with the double-header kicking off with FP1 at 18:25 AEST/15:25 local time.