Jolyon Palmer: “Mentally it is the hardest race of the year”


Jolyon Palmer is preparing himself for his second 'mentally challenging' Monaco Grand Prix - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Jolyon Palmer says there is nothing like the Monaco Grand Prix, with the Briton set to make his second attack on the legendary event this season knowing that he will be in for a difficult weekend mentally.

The Renault Sport Formula 1 Team racer feels that the race around the principality is one every driver wants to be involved in, and unlike on other circuits, it can give you a rush of adrenaline right from the beginning of the weekend.

“It is really fun, there is nothing quite like it,” said Palmer. “It is a unique event with all the glitz and glamour, all the yachts, all the rich and famous.

“It all adds to make a really fun place and a great event to be involved in. It is a special weekend and one I always love. Monaco is a cool place and so different behind the wheel where you have adrenaline pumping from the first lap.”

Palmer has fond memories of Monaco whilst racing in the GP2 Series, with the Briton taking pole position back in 2014 and then following that up with the Feature race victory, but he appreciates that the race will be a mental challenge, with even qualifying being a difficult ask for a driver.

“There are walls on the outside, you literally brush them and get as close as you can,” said Palmer. “It is pinpoint accuracy required and commitment for all of it, that is the challenge.

“It is about commitment and chucking the car in and hoping it comes out the corner. When you do that for 19 corners, it is pretty special. I remember setting my GP2 pole position lap in 2014 knowing that nobody would beat it.

“You need to build up to it steadily. It is a normal road so the track changes as it evolves. You build up your confidence which is important to do piece by piece. This year will be tough with the new cars.

“It is pretty much a two-hour race, even qualifying will be hard. You have no chance to gather your thoughts or take a breath on the lap. Mentally it is the hardest race of the year.”