Palmer didn't expect Grosjean to leave Lotus

Lotus’s new signing for the 2016 Formula 1 season Jolyon Palmer did not expect Romain Grosjean's switch to the new Haas F1 team due to the planned Renault takeover.

Palmer didn't expect Grosjean to leave Lotus
Jolyon Palmer, Lotus F1 Team Test and Reserve Driver
Jolyon Palmer, Lotus F1 E23 Test and Reserve Driver
Jolyon Palmer, Lotus F1 Team Test and Reserve Driver with the media
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 E23
Jolyon Palmer, Lotus F1 Team Test and Reserve Driver
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team and a picture of the sunshine
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team and Jolyon Palmer, Lotus F1 Team
Pastor Maldonado, Lotus F1 Team
Jolyon Palmer, Lotus F1 Team
Jolyon Palmer, Lotus F1 Team Test and Reserve Driver with Frank Montangy, Canal+ TV Presenter

Palmer believed that Grosjean's continued presence at Enstone would be intrinsic to the potential Renault buyout, which remains under discussion.

Grosjean's exit opened the door for Palmer to secure the 2016 race seat.

"Honestly, I didn't see it coming," said Palmer, who confirmed his deal has both the blessing of Lotus and Renault.

"Because the Renault talks were progressing, and I thought it was linked around him – I didn't see it coming at all. Then [Grosjean's exit] suddenly opened the door for me.

"I found out [about his 2016 race deal] this weekend, I know it's been close for quite a long time, well since it was announced that Romain was leaving.

"I got a phone call after pushing flat-out for months to get in, and it's been edging closer and closer and I was hearing more and more good news. Finally, this weekend it's come together.

"It's been a long time coming. After winning GP2 [in 2014] I was ready to race in F1, I was pushing flat-out already. Then it didn't happen, so I've been working so long and so hard to make this happen.

"I'm happy, relieved, proud – everything. Now I'm looking forward to racing."

On the subject of what form he believes the team will take next year, Palmer said: "The expectation is that Renault is going to takeover the team.

"There's a letter of intent that shows exactly what they want to do, and at the moment we're working towards a Renault team."

No fear of racing against big names

Palmer, whose father Jonathan raced in F1 in the 1980s, claimed he has no fear of going up against the established stars of the sport.

"I'm excited for it – what's there to fear?" he said. "They are just someone in a car. Fernando [Alonso] has been at the back all year, so hopefully I can beat him if he doesn't move forward. He's just another driver to try and beat.

"In the FP1s I've done, he's not any different to pass as Carlos Sainz. At the same time, it's a good feeling because I grew up watching these people and admiring them for being great drivers.

"I'm looking forward to going wheel-to-wheel against whoever it is."

Palmer says his confidence has been boosted by his FP1 outings alongside future teammate Pastor Maldonado.

"I know him well from this year already, been driving with him a few times in FP1s," he said. "I've got some experience, and I've got no time to hang around."

When asked if he'd been running similar fuel levels and tyres to compare himself against the Venezuelan, he added: "By and large yes.

"Since the summer break we've been trying a few different things, a new front wing and concept ideas for next year, so we changed the run plans a little bit.

"But the first half of the year, it's been same fuel, same everything really.

"I'm happy I've been there or thereabouts with him over the runs."

shares
comments
Nico Rosberg takes pole for the United States GP

Previous article

Nico Rosberg takes pole for the United States GP

Next article

US GP: Hamilton claims third world title, wins crash-filled race

US GP: Hamilton claims third world title, wins crash-filled race
Load comments
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021