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.”

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.