Will Palmer completed his run in the McLaren MP4-26 at Silverstone on Tuesday as part of his prize for winning last year’s McLaren Autosport BRDC Award.
The 2015 BRDC Formula 4 Champion completed a trio of five-lap runs behind Jenson Button’s 2011 Canadian Grand Prix winning McLaren at the British Grand Prix Circuit. This was the first time Palmer was behind the wheel of an Formula 1 car, declaring it something that he will remember for the rest of his life.
“The nerves were pretty high,” said Palmer to Autosport. “It was absolutely incredible, like nothing I’ve ever done before.
“The power, the brakes, the downforce – and just how together the car seemed. It’s unbelievable how much of a step up it was. There was a bit of a worry over the weather and if the track would be fully dry but luckily it was.
“I thought I’d better make the most of it. A McLaren at Silverstone is an amazing combination. It will be a massive memory for the rest of my life.”
From his run, he impressed the title-winning F1 outfit, with McLaren simulator test engineer Alice Rowlands commenting that Palmer drove properly from looking at the data.
“It’s not easy,” Rowlands said. “He doesn’t know anyone and it’s a step up from anything he’s done before, working with this many engineers.
“Looking at the data it was clearly someone driving a Formula 1 car properly – not someone that was out for a little afternoon drive around.”