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.

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.