GP2 champion Palmer admits F1 chances are slim

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ABU DHABI – 2014 GP2 Series champion Jolyon Palmer has conceded that his hopes of getting a full-time race seat in Formula 1 are slim, believing that a role as a reserve driver is more likely for next season.

Palmer has dominated the GP2 championship in 2014, winning the title with two races to spare in Russia. He will get his first test in a Formula 1 car next week in Abu Dhabi with Force India, but is open minded heading into next season.

“It’s a good chance to get some mileage and ahead of next year, my aim is to be racing,” Palmer said. “The chances of that are coming down and down, because there’s not a lot of cars on the grid and there are a lot of guys with big backing who have got in there already. So I’m open minded really.

“We’re still pushing to be racing somewhere, but a third driver role is also something we’re looking at as a B-plan, which is looking more likely as the race chance comes down. There’s a chance of looking at something like that, but it’s a chance to show what I can do in a Formula 1 car firstly.

“There’s no point being a third/reserve driver without getting a lot of mileage and without having a programme for what to do afterwards. If we were to do a third driver role, it would need to be under the right circumstances.”

An alternative series that many have entered recently is the FIA World Endurance Championship, and Palmer admitted that this would the best choice if he cannot find a place within Formula 1.

“Yeah, I’d consider quite a broad range of things really,” he said. “Definitely that looks really strong at the moment, so that would be a good possibility, especially with a lot of high-profile drivers going there, and the cars are really strong with a lot of manufacturer support. It looks really healthy.

“At the moment, I’m focused on F1 still, but definitely I’m not ruling out anything and that would be probably the best alternative at the moment.”