OLIVER Rowland admits his dramatic split with his previous team will take time to get over but is building towards a tilt at the Formula E championship following his return to Nissan.
The 31-year-old from Penistone joined Mahindra Racing from Nissan in 2021 but left midway through last season.
The new campaign of the electric car championship begins on Saturday with the opening race in Mexico City, in front of tens of thousands of fans.
Rowland told the Chronicle: “It was clear that the performance on both sides wasn’t good enough.
“I was expecting more.
“I wasn’t confident in what I had underneath me and I had to make a decision whether to continue like that for another year and a half or try to find a solution somewhere else.
“Hopefully I made a decision for the better, but we’ll see.
“I learned a lot from it. I think it will give me experience of how to deal with certain situations.
“It might take a little bit of time to get over – in terms of trust in what’s happening.
“I look at it as a blank two years.”
Rowland previously raced for Nissan between 2018 and 2021, with five pole positions, five podium finishes and a race win in Berlin in 2020.
“I am excited to be back at Nissan and in a good place mentally and physically.
“I already feel more comfortable than I was the last couple of years. It’s a bit of a homecoming. It’s where I started my Formula E career and where I have loads of good memories – pole positions, wins, second in the team championship.
“It’s a feel-good move and so far I am really happy with all the work the team has done.”
What is his aim for this season?
“A couple of podiums, consistently getting points and finishing in the top five or six. That’s a good baseline goal.
“I obviously want to do even better but it’s my first season back and we have some limitations.
“We want to go for the championship next year so we’re building towards that.”
The race in Mexico City is in a stadium, compared to many on city streets, and last year attracted a record 40,000 crowd.
Rowland said: “It’s one of the best ones for the fans. We fill up the stadium there and the races are usually pretty good. It’s probably not my favourite track but somewhere I have been reasonable in the past. Hopefully I can have a good start to the season.”
After Mexico, the electric car series moves on to Saudi Arabia later in the month then also features races in São Paulo, Tokyo, Misano in Italy, Monaco, Berlin, Shanghai and Portland, USA before concluding in London in July.