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Rowland to replace Heidfeld for Punta del Este ePrix


2015 GP2 Series Test 3. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Wednesday 2 December 2015. Oliver Rowland (GBR, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service. ref: Digital Image f16154872

Zak Mauger

Formula Renault 3.5 champion Oliver Rowland will make his Formula E debut later this month in Uruguay in place of Mahindra Racing’s Nick Heidfeld.

Heidfeld scored Mahindra’s first podium finish in Formula E at the season opener in Beijing, but will miss the Punta del Este ePrix after undergoing surgery for ligament damage sustained during the last race in Putrajaya.

“During the Putrajaya ePrix, I damaged a ligament in my left wrist when the steering wheel snapped out of my hand,” Heidfeld said.

“On the advice of my doctors, I have undergone an operation to repair it. Unfortunately this means that I will miss the next race in Punta del Este but I wish the team well and hope they return from Uruguay with a Christmas stocking full of points.”

Rowland enjoyed a record-breaking year in Formula Renault 3.5 and has been testing a GP2 car in Abu Dhabi over the past few days ahead of a possible full-time move into the series for 2016.

The 23-year-old is relishing the opportunity to try out a Formula E car for the first time, partnering Bruno Senna for the race in Punta del Este.

“After a successful year, I am excited to have this opportunity to extend my season further and race the M2Electro,” Rowland said.

“Formula E represents many aspects of the future of motorsport and it gained huge traction in the first season. It has one of the most competitive driver line-ups and I am looking forward to some close racing among them and I hope to show what I can do.

“It will be a steep learning curve to get to grips with the new electric racing technology but I’m sure that once the visor goes down, we will have some fun.

“I intend to make the most of this opportunity and extract the maximum out of the car. Thank you to Mahindra Racing for the opportunity and I wish Nick Heidfeld a quick recovery.”

The Punta del Este ePrix takes place on December 19.

Follow @LukeSmithF1