Palmer eyes long-term future with Renault in F1

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Jolyon Palmer has set his sights on securing a long-term future with Renault in Formula 1 ahead of his debut in the series at the Australian Grand Prix in March.

Palmer joined Lotus F1 Team as its reserve driver for the 2015 season after winning the GP2 title the previous year, spending the year working under full-time racers Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean.

After Grosjean confirmed he would be leaving to join Haas F1 Team for 2016, Lotus opted to move Palmer up into a race seat ahead of the new season when the team will become Renault following the manufacturer’s decision to takeover the Enstone-based operation.

Palmer may not have started a grand prix yet, but he is already setting his sights on a long-term future with the team.

“Next for me is to be with Renault long-term,” Palmer said.

“I think 2016 will be exciting. It won’t be the easiest year in a transition season but the long term potential is huge.

“I want to have a good year, show my best, and progress as a driver, and hopefully the team will keep me and we have a good car fighting for championships in the future.”

Palmer appeared in 13 practice sessions across the course of the 2015 season, and said that he learned plenty during a year that saw Lotus struggle off-track due to financial concerns ahead of the Renault buy-out.

“The year was very good for me,” Palmer said. “I learnt a huge amount and coming from GP2 into Formula 1 there was a lot to take in, certainly more than I expected!

“The way the team operates is the biggest difference, there’re so many involved in Formula 1. By being at the races and driving the car a lot it made for a big learning curve and I was rewarded with the drive for next year. Job done!

“My first year in Formula 1 and it was a hell of year for us as a team. It was challenging at times and it affected me as well as all in the team but everyone pulled together to get us on track and keep the car in the points. Everyone pulled together well as a team.”