Jolyon Palmer

Jolyon Palmer
United Kingdom
Birth Date: 
20 January, 1991
Birth Place: 
Horsham, Great Britain

Jolyon Palmer Biography

Son of a former British Formula 1 driver, Jolyon Palmer competed in the 2016 and 2017 season with the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team.

Palmer started his racing career in 2004 in MiniMax karts, he made the move to racing in T-Cars for three years. He competed in the 2005 T Cars Autumn Trophy, finishing fifth overall in the series. He progressed into the main series in 2006, earning one position and four podiums to finish fifth overall in the standings. He won the 2006 T Cars Autumn Trophy having won four of the six races. He took part in two races in the 2007 season before leaving the series to focus on Formula Palmer Audi.

Racing in the series his father, Jonathan created, Jolyon finished tenth overall in the standings after winning two races at Brands Hatch and Oulton Park. He missed the final two rounds of the championship due to a quad bike accident, where Palmer was placed in a coma after losing a kidney, punctured lung, liver damage and lost lots of blood.

He recovered for the start of the 2008 season, where he came close to winning the title with only one win at Spa-Francorchamps. He ended the season with third overall, 22 points behind the eventual champion, Jason Moore.

In 2009, Palmer made the move to the FIA Formula 2 series, racing with MotorSport Vision. His best result in the series came at Imola with a sixth-place finish. At the second race at Brands Hatch, Jolyon was seconds away from being hit by a flying tyre cause by a crash from Jack Clarke. Instead, the wheel hit the head of Henry Surtees, the driver Palmer was battling with in the race, which tragically killed Surtees.

Palmer returned for a second season with Formula 2, winning the opening round of the series at Silverstone. He followed this up with a double at Monza and another win in Portugal to finish second overall in the standings.

In 2011, Palmer made the switch to the GP2 Series, the support series for Formula 1. He joined with Arden International but over the course of the season, failed to score any points. A ninth-place finish in Valencia for the feature race was the closest Palmer got to a points finish that year.

He stayed on in GP2 with iSport International, partnering alongside Marcus Ericsson. The pair secured one win each for the team over the course of the season, with Palmer grabbing his first victory in the series at Monaco in the sprint race. He collected a third place on home soil at Silverstone as well as finishing third at Monza. He ended the season 11th overall with 78 points, 46 points behind teammate Ericsson.

Palmer entered the 2013 season, making a switch from iSport to Carlin and partnering alongside Brazilian Felipe Nasr. The British driver captured two wins over the season, taking the top step in the feature races in Hungary and Singapore. He improved on his championship position by four places but was still behind his teammate Nasr, despite collecting Carlin's only wins of the season.

For 2014, Palmer made the move to DAMS and started off the season strong with pole position in Bahrain which followed with a podium in the feature race and a win in the sprint race. He led the championship after that weekend, where he remained throughout the season. He collected another win at Monaco in the feature race to make it twice he's won in the principality streets.

During the race in Hungary, Palmer engaged in a heavy battle with former teammate and championship rival Felipe Nasr. The pair battled heavily on track for victory which Palmer claimed but the pair locked horns on the podium with both drivers accusing each other for being too aggressive.

Palmer continued on his championship charge with another win in Italy and heading into Russia, could take the title in his first attempt. He won the feature race at the Sochi Autodrom to clinch the GP2 title with three races to spare.

His championship win in GP2 gained the interest of Formula 1 teams with Force India inviting him to the young driver test in Abu Dhabi. Lotus signed him up ahead of the 2015 season as their reserve driver and got to drive the E23 in testing in Barcelona. He made his first F1 appearance in Free Practice 1 at the Chinese Grand Prix, filling in for Romain Grosjean, where he ended the session 15th fastest overall.

Palmer would continue making Free Practice appearances for 15 races until the team confirm him as Romain Grosjean's replacement for the 2016 season, as the French driver left to join the newly-formed Haas F1 Team.

Over the winter as the Lotus team was re-formed into Renault Sport, Palmer kept his drive where he original teammate of Pastor Maldonado was shown the door and Kevin Magnussen joined in his place.

The start of the season for Palmer showed promise when he qualified 14th and would finish in 11th for the race. Teammate Magnussen scored the teams’ first points in Russia whilst Palmer finished in 13th place. A double retirement followed at Monaco, where he crashed on the opening lap of the race in the wet conditions, and in Canada. The hunt for his first points didn't arrive until the Malaysian Grand Prix, where he finished 10th to grab a point. It was only points finish of the season but Renault kept him on for another season.

The 2017 season saw Palmer have a poor start by crashing in Australia in the opening practice session. It soon followed by a retirement in the race due to an brake issue. Palmer was under pressure by Renault to impress with new teammate Nico Hulkenberg gathering the results and points for the team. The results didn't come for Palmer as failures and driver errors meant the British drivers couldn't gather the points.

At the Singapore Grand Prix, it was announced that Palmer would lose his seat to Carlos Sainz Jr., who joins the team from Toro Rosso. At that same race, Palmer equalled the team's best result of the season with sixth place in a wet race, his best result in his F1 career.

However, the performance wasn't enough to save him and Palmer was replaced by Sainz for the following race. Palmer finished his final race with the team with a 12th place finish. His F1 career was over.

As of 2018, Palmer is currently a pundit with BBC Radio 5 Live as part of their F1 coverage.

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