Jolyon Palmer says it is “gutting” that winning the GP2 championship doesn't carry enough weight to earn him an F1 seat.
Having won the championship in Sochi – with the Abu Dhabi round still to go – Palmer was hopeful of earning a seat in F1, but arrived in Abu Dhabi with Felipe Nasr having secured a seat at Sauber for 2015. Admitting he is not holding much hope of getting an F1 seat next year
, Palmer is set to become the third champion in a row – after Davide Valsecchi and Fabio Leimer – to fail to make the step up and he says the title should be enough to earn the winner a drive.
“It's gutting really, because people who I've beaten are on the grid and there's nothing I can do about it.” Palmer said. “I won the championship with a round to spare, I've done everything I possibly could this year and won the GP2 championship in a bit of style as well and the guy I've beaten quite comfortably all year [Nasr] is on the grid.
“But that's the state of F1 this year, he's got the backing and Sauber needed the backing. If I think about it too much I get very better, so the best is to focus on what I can do, not worry about what anyone else is doing and maximise my own future.”
However, Palmer said he felt it was hurting GP2's reputation if the championship winner isn't progressing in to F1.
“Yeah I think it's definitely a bad message, because what's the point in winning if it doesn't actually elevate you above the guy that finished third in the championship? Nasr showed that he's also a good driver and probably worthy of a place in Formula One but beating him should put me worthy of a place in Formula One.
“But at the same time what do they do? It's the state of Formula One at the moment, finance is crucial and it's something that he's got in abundance.”