Palmer expects Grosjean to push Haas hard in debut season

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Jolyon Palmer expects Romain Grosjean to play a big part in helping Haas develop in its debut Formula 1 season.

Palmer worked with Grosjean at Lotus throughout 2015, deputizing for the Frenchman in a number of practice sessions in order to gain experience in an F1 car.

Grosjean opted to leave Lotus at the end of 2015 ahead of its takeover by Renault, joining NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas’ new F1 operation for its debut season.

When asked by MotorSportsTalk whether Grosjean will be an asset to Haas in 2016, Palmer was complimentary about his former colleague.

“I think he’ll be good, yeah. He’s a quick driver, he’s experienced,” Palmer said.

“He knows what he wants from the car. So he’ll be pushing hard with them.”

Haas made an impressive start to pre-season testing in Barcelona earlier this week, racking up almost 300 laps across four days as Grosjean and teammate Esteban Gutierrez got their first taste of the VF-16 car.

Although Palmer said it was difficult to judge how Haas would stack up this year, he expects the American team to be embroiled in the midfield battle.

“They’ve started pretty reasonably. They’re getting some laps in, they’re looking quite reasonable,” Palmer said.

“So I’m sure they’re in a different league to the HRTs, the Virgins when they came in. I’m sure they’ll be in the mix somewhere in the midfield.”