Formula 1

Palmer still following F1 dream despite lack of 2015 role

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2014 GP2 Series champion Jolyon Palmer insists that he has not yet given up on his Formula 1 dream despite seeing all the race seats available filled up for 2015.

Palmer is the third GP2 Series champion in succession to miss out on promotion to F1 after Davide Valsecchi and Fabio Leimer, and has also seen his rivals Felipe Nasr and Raffaele Marciello sign for the Sauber F1 Team despite finishing behind him in the championship.

The Briton tested with the Sahara Force India team in the post-season tests in Abu Dhabi, and a role with the team is not out of the question, especially with the reserve driver yet to be announced.

Speaking at the Autosport International Show, Palmer insisted he was still keen to race in Formula 1, with a goal to be on the grid in 2016 his new priority as well as a reserve driver role somewhere this season.

“As GP2 champion, I am not ready to give up on the F1 dream just yet,” said Palmer. “I think there is going to be some opportunity in the future. For this year it is not going to happen because there are 18 cars and 18 drivers already in them.

“So now we have to focus on the next best thing and that is working with an F1 team and trying to get some mileage in a car and prepare myself for 2016.”

Palmer also commented on the new Superlicence rules coming into effect for the 2016 season, although by winning the GP2 Series title in 2013, he will be eligible to race in F1 next year. He did make the point that some drivers would not be on the grid in 2015 had the rules been implemented this season, and added some voice behind the way the Formula Renault 3.5 Series has been represented.

“I think it’s not a bad thing to have a criteria for a superlicence,” he said. “Previously you could get a superlicence with enough testing mileage and you could get enough testing mileage by basically buying it.

“Bringing in the criteria is good. I think the criteria itself I probably shouldn’t comment on, but there are a lot of drivers on the grid that wouldn’t make it with that criteria – Max Verstappen, and Carlos Sainz as well as he is the World Series champion.”

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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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