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Q&A with Nissan's Oliver Rowland and Dorian Boisdron on Formula E Team's Past and Present

Veteran driver Rowland and team director Boisdron reflect on previous Formula E campaigns and look ahead to the 10th season.

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Nissan Formula E team driver Oliver Rowland in action in preseason testing prior the 2023-24 Formula E World Championship, in Valencia, Spain, in October 2023. (Courtesy of Nissan Formula E Team)

Read the full story on SportsLook - Q&A with Nissan's Oliver Rowland and Dorian Boisdron on Formula E Team's Past and Present

The 2024 Formula E season gets underway on Saturday, January 13 in Mexico City. Now in its 10th season, the global circuit, which features 11 teams, has been described as the Formula One of electric vehicle racing. 

The Nissan Formula E Team, frequently called Nismo, features veteran British driver Oliver Rowland, 31, and French teammate Sacha Fenestraz, who is 24.

In December 2023, Rowland and team director Dorian Boisdron participated in an interview session in Yokohama, reflecting on their past experiences in Formula E and looking ahead to the new season and beyond.

This interview was first published on the Nissan Global Newsroom website. It is republished below courtesy of Nissan.

A Shared History for Rowland and Boisdron

Oliver "Oli" Rowland and Dorian Boisdron are both integral names in the history of the Nissan Formula E Team. They have been part of some of its most successful campaigns, including season 6, when the outfit ended the year as vice-champion. Dorian has held the position of team director since 2022, while Oliver makes a return to the squad as an experienced driver to partner with promising youngster Sacha Fenestraz, following two years away. 

The duo discusses the paths they took to their current positions, as well as some of the responsibilities involved in their positions today.

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What lessons did you take from during your previous time with the team?

Rowland: A lot, almost everything I know about Formula E came from that time. I entered the team not knowing much about the series, but despite the fact I had little preparation, I still enjoyed those early days, and learned a lot from them. [And] I found that energy management was crucial, and handling this effectively throughout a race was an important lesson to take on board. 

My experienced teammate at the time, Sébastien Buemi, helped me a great deal when I joined, making sure I integrated with the crew and learned how to [give] feedback to the engineers. Everyone at Nissan guided me in the right direction and shaped me into the person I am today.

Formula E
Team director Dorian Boisdron in a December 2023 portrait. (Courtesy of Nissan Formula E Team)

Recollections of Early Days with Nismo

What do you remember from when you first joined the Nissan Formula E Team?

Boisdron: I've had a long relationship with this outfit. I first joined the team as development manager. This covered the R&D (research and development) and manufacturing of the car and its components. One of my first memories of being at the team was working on the highly complex concept that we were developing at the time ― it proved to be quite a challenge from an engineering standpoint. It was at this time when Oli first joined us, ahead of the launch of the Gen2 cars.

How has your career progressed since then?

Boisdron: I've had a few roles within the squad. As mentioned, I was the development manager for my first two years, and then I joined the race side of our operations as team and sporting manager. This was during Gen2, when strategy was particularly crucial with the race format at the time. We had to make constant calculations about the pace of our drivers, the possibility of a Safety Car, and such. In that time, I developed my relationship with the managing director, and he taught me how to tackle new tasks, such as organizing and managing. 

With the transition to Gen3, there were reshuffles and I was appointed team director. It was, and continues to be, a great opportunity for me to grow both as an engineer and a person.

Formula E
Nismo driver Oliver Rowland (Courtesy of Nissan Formula E Team)

The Evolution of the Nissan Formula E Team

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What has changed and what has stayed the same during the time Oli has been away from the team?

Rowland: Quite a lot has changed, but the key thing that has stayed the same is the mentality and will to win. The people here have the same passion, motivation and hard-working nature that has served them so well in the past. In terms of differences, I think the team has grown into itself a little more. The structure has changed, and there is now a good balance of new faces and some of the old guard who were here during my previous stint. 

Dorian, [Nismo managing director] Tommaso [Volpe] and everyone at Nissan have done a great job building the team ― it is because of their hard work that we continue to grow day by day.

Boisdron: I would agree with Oli's points ― the structure has changed over the period, including the ownership as well as staff. We now have more structure, with more managers and oversight, especially in the technical and administration areas. However, I believe we have kept our pure racing spirit that is so vital to this team's DNA.

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.

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Author: SportsLook

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