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Jolyon Palmer enjoys strongest FP1 session yet with P12 in Brazil

Friday, November 13 2015

Lotus F1 Team Third and Reserve Driver Jolyon Palmer enjoyed his best Free Practice One session to date, as he finished 12th fastest in the opening practice of the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend in Sao Paulo today (November 13). The 24-year-old's performance was all the more impressive given that it was his first appearance on the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, as he ran inside the top-10 for much of the session.

Jolyon left the Lotus F1 Team garage as soon as the pit lane light went green at the start of FP1 and he completed an installation lap, following a practice start as he joined the circuit, before returning to the pits.

After a brief respite, he returned to the track on medium Pirelli tyres with 75 minutes remaining for his opening run of the session. Completing 11 laps, Jolyon posted a fastest time of 1m16.775s which put him in 17th, just 2.324s off the pace off fastest man Lewis Hamilton, before the entire field pitted with one hour left in FP1.

With half the session remaining, Jolyon headed back out for another run and improved his best time to a 1m15.822s, which initially put him 11th fastest, before he dropped to 13thahead of pitting. He remained in the pit box as the team put on some new medium Pirelli tyres and fitted a new nosecone, before he rejoined the Interlagos circuit. On a short run, Jolyon bettered his time once again, and by a significant margin, posting a 1m15.352s which was good enough for 12th and only 1.809s shy of Hamilton's session leading lap time.

In the final 10 minutes of FP1, the front-wing of Jolyon's E23 Hybrid was coated in flow-vis paint for his return to the track, in order to establish the aerodynamic effects on the car of the new part. He completed a sequence of further laps before taking the chequered flag and ending the session in 12th position, a new personal best for Jolyon.

The Southwater driver will make another Free Practice One appearance when he takes to the track in Abu Dhabi on November 27, as the curtain comes down on the 2015 Formula One season.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the session, Jolyon said: "It is an awesome track. There are a lot of blind corners and walking around it yesterday was an eye-opener as I have never raced here before. It is really good to drive though, hot work and the tyres were dying quite quickly but it was great. I was trying the new front-wing spec in this session and that is what FP1 is all about, learning and trying to improve.

The track has a bit of everything, including some long corners where you need good downforce, so it was good and we had a productive morning."

Alan Permane, Lotus F1 Team's Trackside Operations Director, added: "It was a pretty straight-forward FP1 session for us and quite productive. It was good to have a dry session and Jolyon was able to work through a full programme in his customary fashion. In particular, Jolyon worked on front wing comparisons which is an essential part of development looking to next season's car." 

Brazilian Grand Prix - Free Practice One - Result

1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m13.543s
2. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, +0.519s
3. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +0.625s
4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, +0.906s
5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +1.006s
6. Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull Racing, +1.153s
7. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, +1.343s
8. Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, +1.417s
9. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, +1.631s
10. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus F1 Team, +1.649s
11. Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso, +1.771s
12. Jolyon Palmer, Lotus F1 Team, +1.809s
13. Jenson Button, McLaren, +1.836s
14. Felipe Nasr, Sauber. +1.838s
15. Sergio Perez, Force India, +1.865s
16. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, +1.870s
17. Felipe Massa, Williams, +1.926s
18. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, +2.255s
19. Alexander Rossi , Manor, +4.317s
20. Will Stevens, Manor, +4.547s