Jolyon Palmer: “I’ve had some good memories but I’m eager to make some more!”


Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16. German Grand Prix, Sunday 31st July 2016. Hockenheim, Germany. Credit: Renault Sport Media Centre

Renault Sport F1 Team driver Jolyon Palmer is eager to get back on track after a relaxing summer break has left him hungry for some racing action.

The Spa-Francorchamps circuit is one that the Brit enjoys, as it is a challenging track but one that is seriously fun to drive.

“When I first drove it, I remember I thought it was incredible. The first thing that hits you is Eau Rouge. It’s just awesome. You see it on TV, or on the on boards or on the Xbox, but it is even better the first time you drive it.

“Nothing prepares you for heading flat out down the hill and then coming up the other side and down that straight. In the dry we are now easily flat, maybe just slightly under with high fuel in the race, but it’s a real corner.

“The whole circuit feels very flowing and you can appreciate the size of it.”

As the scene of his first ever race win, the Belgian circuit is a special one for Palmer, who also has some fond memories of previous encounters at the notorious track.

“I actually won my first race at Spa, which was in Formula Palmer Audi. I remember it was wet – as always for Spa!

I’ve had podiums in GP2 since but have always missed a win somewhere. I also started on the front row last time I went there. I’ve had some good memories but I’m eager to make some more!”

Spa is a legendary race venue that is steeped in history, and one that Palmer has confirmed he would have loved to have driven around in its original guise.

“I would absolutely love to look round some of the old tracks like Spa and the Nordschleife and have a drive.

“I have seen old videos of the races there – each circuit is unique and incredibly high speed; I don’t think people liked going slowly back then!”

This weekend the Brit is hopeful of a strong performance, after recent races have seen the car perform much better, despite results not necessarily making that apparent.

Although qualifying will be important on Saturday, Palmer is more concerned about the inclement weather that can often be experienced in the Belgian countryside, a factor that can make or break your race if you are not careful.

“The biggest thing is to keep one eye on the weather as you always need to be on the right tyres at the right time. If you get caught out it’s such a long lap that it can take you two minutes to get back to the pits and change tyres, by which time you would have lost so many positions.”