Palmer comfortable in Lotus reserve role after FP1 run-outs

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Jolyon Palmer feels that he has settled into life in Formula 1 well after enjoying two practice run-outs for Lotus F1 Team so far this season.

Palmer won last year’s GP2 Series title, but was unable to secure a full-time seat in F1 and instead joined Lotus in a reserve role for 2015.

The Briton took part in the first free practice session for the Chinese and Bahrain Grands Prix over the last two weekends, setting respectable times in comparison to full-time drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado in both sessions.

“It’s great to get on track with all the other F1 drivers and to be part of a grand prix weekend finally,” Palmer said.

“China was a really good experience as I had so much to learn: the procedures, the track – as China was a new track for me, etc. Shanghai was all about learning as much as possible.

“Then Bahrain was a good opportunity just a week after my first FP1 outing. It’s a circuit that I was already familiar with and where it overall went better. My pace was more competitive, I made no mistake; it was more straightforward.”

Palmer admitted that it had taken time to adjust to the bigger scale of F1 after stepping up from GP2, but he is now feeling very comfortable as part of the Lotus team.

“There’s been a lot to take in since the start of the season: how the team works, who’s who; how the weekend schedules work,” he said.

“It’s very different from I was used to in GP2. The team here is bigger, there’s a lot more detail and a lot more people with different roles and responsibilities.

“Throughout the first four races of the season I have learnt a lot and now I feel so much more comfortable with everything.”

Palmer will get his next taste of the Lotus E23 Hybrid at Brands Hatch – a circuit owned by his father, Jonathan – on Monday in a team filming day.