Will Palmer has landed a test drive in a McLaren F1 Grand Prix car after picking up the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC award on Sunday (6th December).
The 18-year-old wrapped up the 2015 BRDC Formula 4 championship with a record points haul, winning 12 of the 24 races, and was selected by a panel of experts as the winner of the prize package which includes £100,000 and an invitation to test with McLaren.
Palmer and five other nominees underwent fitness and simulator tests in Formula 2 single-seaters, DTM Mercedes and McLaren 650S GT3 machines as well as interviews with the panel at Silverstone.
The Brit, who is the younger brother of Lotus F1 driver Jolyon Palmer and son of former F1 driver Jonathan Palmer, says he was blown away by the accolade, hailing it 'unreal' and the 'night of my life'.
“It's absolutely unbelievable. Every year I see the six finalists on stage and dreamt of one day taking part, it's an amazing opportunity,” Palmer said. "Now that I'm here as the winner, it's absolutely unbelievable. The first day was my first experience of all the cars, which are a lot quicker than my BRDC Formula 4 car, so I went away after that, thought about where I could improve and managed to pull out some laps that I was very happy with.
"I need to say a massive thank you to all my family, especially my dad, as he puts so much effort into it and he has been a massive support throughout my career. Also to HHC Motorsport who have guided me for the last four years and to my sponsors, including Comma. In the future, the goal is obviously Formula One and this is a massive step in achieving that.”
Palmer joins an impressive list of McLaren Autosport BRDC award winners including David Coulthard, Jenson Button, Anthony Davidson and Dario Franchitti.