Jolyon Palmer feels he is unlikely to remain in Formula 1 if he is unable to secure one of the remaining seats on the grid for 2016, and does not want to settle for another year on the sidelines as a reserve driver.
The 2014 GP2 Series champion has run a number of free practice sessions with the Lotus F1 Team this year, and says it has been a great opportunity to learn how to drive a Formula 1 car, but wants to be racing rather than just being the teams’ third driver.
With Romain Grosjean leaving the Lotus team to join the Haas F1 Team, there is a vacancy within the team, which is set to become the Renault works team, alongside Pastor Maldonado, and Palmer is a name heavily linked to the drive.
“I would say it is probably racing or nothing,” said Palmer to Autosport. “I’m enjoying what I’m doing. Having not been in F1 before, to drive the car as often as I have has been great, and to be involved in a team you learn a lot.
“But having done one year of it, I feel I wouldn’t be learning a huge amount by doing another year doing the same thing with the same team.
“I’m flat out for racing next year. There’s a chance. It just depends on the outcome of a lot of things.
“The people here [at Lotus] know the job I’ve done and the job I can do. I expect the team will stay largely the same, although maybe the management will change, but all I can do is show the people here what I can do.
“I’m definitely ready to be racing in F1. I’ll be in the car quite a few more times this season, an unconfirmed amount, which is a positive. Every time I’m back in it’s a chance to show what I can do, and while everything is undecided, it’s a good chance to prove why I should be in.”