Palmer to take part in next five FP1 sessions for Lotus
Lotus reserve driver Jolyon Palmer will take part in the next five FP1 sessions, as well as the in-season test at the Red Bull Ring following the u...
Lotus reserve driver Jolyon Palmer will take part in the next five FP1 sessions, as well as the in-season test at the Red Bull Ring following the upcoming Austrian Grand Prix.
Palmer has so far driven for the team on Friday morning in China, where he finished 15th and half a second off Lotus race driver Pastor Maldonado, in Bahrain (P14 and +0.441 to Maldonado) and in Spain, where he finished ahead of Maldonado for the first time. He finished P13 in Barcelona and 0.434 ahead of the 18th-placed Venezuelan.
Palmer replaced Romain Grosjean on each occasion and that pattern looks set to continue, a situation that will not please the Frenchman, who in the run-up to the Monaco GP voiced his frustration at losing out on the FP1 sessions.
“It does affect you quite a lot in terms of preparation for the weekend,” said Grosjean. “FP1 is normally where you test new aero parts and you can do back-to-back. You normally do three runs of five, six timed laps and you assess what are the best parts for the weekend and you get the first idea for where the car is and you can do a set-up change for P2, prepare your diff map, your brake map, and then go in P2.”
“When you only start in FP2 you’ve got five timed lap on prime, three timed lap on option, and then you’ve got to begin your long runs. So it’s much harder to choose what’s the right set-up.”
“You can do some changes overnight but again the Saturday morning is not the same fuel load, is not the same track condition. Yeah, it does affect you.”
Palmer brushed off the complaints, however, saying that Grosjean had done a good job in the races following the sessions where the Briton took part.
“In the Friday sessions I've done he couldn't have done more in the race as he finished seventh in China, seventh in Bahrain and eighth in Spain,” he said. “Obviously he's not happy because it's never nice to be not driving. I'm quite aware of that because I'm not driving a lot. But overall I think he understands and it's really not having an effect.”
Now Palmer will take part in FP1 in Austria, at his home race at Silverstone, at the Hungaroring, Spa and at Monza. He will also get a day’s testing at the Red Bull Ring following the grand prix in Austria.
"I'm really pleased to be driving in FP1 for the rest of the European season," Palmer said. "I've been happy with my performances so far and the car is improving all the time so, after watching on at the last two events, it will be great to be driving again."
Palmer says the opportunity to complete such consistent running will allow him to build on his first three appearances at race weekends.
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