#unCOVERED – A Moment with Formula One Renault Driver, Jolyon Palmer

Face to face with Jolyon Palmer at the “Race Against Time in Singapore” event with BELL & ROSS

In town last week for the Singapore leg of the 2016 Formula One season was Renault Driver, Jolyon Palmer. COVERED Asia’s Managing Editor, Nick T. caught up with Jolyon for an exclusive face to face interview during the “Race Against Time in Singapore” event with BELL & ROSS.

In his father’s footsteps – Renault F1 Driver, Jolyon Palmer

F1 Renault Driver, Jolyon Palmer
F1 Renault Driver, Jolyon Palmer

Succeeding a legacy left behind by Palmer Senior, current Formula One Renault Driver, Jolyon Palmer joins Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button as the third British driver on the Formula One grid this season.

The son of former F1 driver Jonathan Palmer, who is best known as the Chief Officer and Founder of Motorsport Vision which owns UK motoring venues such as  the Brands Hatch circuit, Jolyon Plamer is a former GP2 champion who currently drives alongside Renault Sport team mate Kevin Magnussen this season.

In Conversation with Jolyon Palmer

F1 Renault Driver, Jolyon Palmer.
Jolyon Palmer Formula One practice session with Renault Sport.

Nick: Welcome to Singapore, is this your first time in Singapore?

Jolyon:No, this is my fourth time now, but I still enjoy it.

Nick: This is your first Formula One race in Singapore, correct?

Jolyon:Yup, first time racing Formula One, but I have raced here before in the GP2 in last 2 years though.

F1 Renault Driver, Jolyon Palmer wearing the Bell & Ross BR-X1 RS16
F1 Renault Driver (pictured right), Jolyon Palmer wears the Bell & Ross BR-X1 RS16

Nick:How do you feel about the night race here in Singapore, and what do you feel it has it done for the Formula One in general?

Jolyon:I think it’s good. I think it’s a real glamour event in the calendar. Racing at night, everything looks spectacular. For us drivers, we really enjoy it. You get a real sense of speed when you can see nothing in front of you apart from the track lit up in front of you. So yes, I think it’s a real “one-off” weekend for us. Singapore as well, it’s a great city to be racing in; to be racing with the added glamour of a night race, and with city’s entertainment that surrounds us, it is good fun.

Nick:We know you love the team you are racing for, but we have to ask, in terms of the competition this year, who do you feel is the one to watch out for this weekend?

Jolyon:I think for us, we have been struggling a lot this year, and we hope to improve in the future. But I think the people to watch this weekend would be between Mercedes and Redbull for the win. I think Redbull has a good chance this weekend.

The Bell & Ross BRX1 RS16 Timepiece (Limited to 20 pieces for the Tourbillon, and 250 for the non-tourbillon)
The Bell & Ross BRX1 RS16 Timepiece (Limited to 20 pieces for the Tourbillon, and 250 for the non-tourbillon)

Nick:Ok, let’s talk about the other fringe activities happening around town. As you may already know, the Formula One weekend in Singapore is well-known for its nightlife and after-race parties – Have you been to any fringe parties?

Jolyon:I have been to Amber Lounge before, and it’s always good fun. We get to let our hair down a little bit after the race on Sunday night. It’s good, and I just enjoy how Singapore has a lot of entertainment around, a lot of nightlife and a lot of places to go. There’s a lot of places to go. So that’s the good thing about racing on a street circuit, there’s everything already all around you. It’s good fun as I said, I’ve been here 4 years and usually I try to have some fun on the Sunday night.

F1 Renault Driver, Jolyon Palmer
F1 Renault Driver, Jolyon Palmer was in Singapore to attend an event by Bell & Ross

Nick:A little more serious now – let’s talk about the Marina Bay Circuit – we are aware that the course is a little bit narrower, and a little bit risky with all the sharp turns. How do you prepare for that?

Jolyon:We don’t do anything special. The thing is for us, we have to be careful as the barriers are close. If you push too hard too soon, than you can crash. It is as simple as that really, but then of course when it comes to qualifying for the race, we just have to push everything. You have to take the risks.

Nick:And how has the weather been treating you?

Jolyon:The weather is, always very hot. It is a physical race this one. Especially since the race is long; nearly 2 hours every time. It is bumpy here, and it is very hot in the car. It is hard work with a lot of corners, and you never really get a chance to rest. It’s physical you know, but we all do train all year for it.

The Renaul F1 Car with Jolyon Palmer
The Renault F1 Car with Jolyon Palmer

Nick: Any wise words of encouragement for aspiring drivers in Singapore, Malaysia, or beyond?

Jolyon:Yes, I think Formula One is at a great place at the moment, and also motorsport is moving more into this sort of market as well. We had Rio Haryanto from Indonesia that was racing at the start of this year, so who knows the way that motorsport is going? It is indeed now more accessible to the Asian market that we know today. I mean, there are also a lot of great tracks here, and I think young aspiring drivers from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia should get down (to the tracks) and have a go.

Look out for Jolyon Palmer who is now in preparation as he sets his sights on the upcoming F1 Sepang Race in Malaysia next weekend.

Malcolm Yeo

Motoring Contributing Editor

Having garnered an interest in motoring from an early age of 3, Malcolm has ever since religiously kept abreast of design and engineering trends within the world of motoring. Having had the luxury of being in the driving seat of many cars over the years, Malcolm has since developed a knack for giving valued opinions on which cars are suitable for driving styles and lifestyles alike.

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