Rookie Jolyon Palmer has admitted he will savour the experience of what could be his first and last British Grand Prix.
Renault driver Palmer, the 25-year-old former GP2 champion, will take his Silverstone bow on Sunday, but with uncertainty surrounding his future beyond this season he knows it may be the only chance he gets to shine in front of his home crowd.
“I have a one-year contract, so I definitely need to enjoy some of the places I go to because this could be my one and only British Grand Prix,” Palmer said.
“I hope it is not and I am 100 per cent focused on making sure this is not my only British Grand Prix, but if it is my only one, it is because I am not doing a very good job.”
Palmer, the son of Jonathan Palmer, who made 83 grands prix starts in the 1980s, has endured a tough start to his Formula One career in a Renault which has been well off the pace.
Indeed Palmer was having to fend off suggestions that he was set to be replaced by the team’s French reserve driver Esteban Ocon after just two races.
“That was pretty crappy,” added Palmer, who finished a credible 12th on his debut at the season opener in Australia.
“I did the Melbourne race, out-qualified my team-mate Kevin Magnussen, out-raced him, and nearly got in the points in a car that shouldn’t have been in the points.
“I went to Bahrain, where I qualified a couple of tenths off Kevin, and I didn’t even start the race as I had a problem. Then I read that Renault were unhappy with me.
“To be honest the rumours are completely unfounded. It’s not nice to see but I know myself that the story’s rubbish, and it is not going to affect the Renault bosses’ decision as whether I get the drive next year or not.
“I’m not worried because if I do a good job then I want them to think I’m the right choice, and if I don’t then so be it, I’ve had the chance anyway.”
Palmer will arrive at Silverstone having equalled his career-best finish after crossing the line 12th in Austria on Sunday. And the rookie will be the third British driver for a record crowd to cheer for on Sunday.
But despite Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button boasting 61 victories and four world championships between them, Palmer has revealed he has not, and will not, seek advice from his countrymen.
“I can’t imagine JB would be too keen to help me out,” added Palmer. “He’s competition, so even though to the rest of us it looks as though he’s nearing the end of his F1 career he doesn’t want to be nearing the end.
“I think everyone’s so focused on beating each other, even Lewis, so you don’t want to be giving anything away.
“The more useful people to speak to would be those who have retired, and can actually give you neutral guidance, but anyone you’re racing against, you want to get one over on anyone you can.”
Press Association Sport
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