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2011 interview with F1’s Jolyon Palmer

PUBLISHED: 09:19 24 March 2016 | UPDATED: 09:19 24 March 2016

By Robk23oxf (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Robk23oxf (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


Renault Sport F1 driver Jolyon Palmer spoke to us about his background and dreams back in 2011...

As published in the November 2011 issue of Sussex Life

Jolyon Palmer is a young man who is going places fast. At 20 he is a rising star of GP2 and wants to follow his father Jonathan into Formula 1. Here he tells us more about him...

Tell us about yourself. What school did you go to?

I went to Dorset House School until I was 13 and then Cranleigh. I have always lived just outside Southwater.

When did you start racing?

I have followed Formula 1 for as long as I can remember. At the age of 4 I was given a go-kart to drive around the garden which I absolutely loved, but I only really got serious about my own racing ambitions at the age of 13. I had always wanted to be a footballer until that point but then I had a sudden urge to be a racing driver.

You’ve grown up around racing. What have you learned from your dad Jonathan [Formula 1 driver and commentator] and what part of his career would you most like to emulate?

My dad is the most determined and motivated person I know. That is the most impressive aspect of every part of his life, but it applies to racing in particular. In racing it is always important to work extremely hard out of the car to find out where to improve. Even if you are quickest there will always be a way to improve and if you cannot make these improvements then you will be caught up by your rivals.

What do you think are the most important qualities for a racing driver?

It is important to have a good analytical brain to establish where to find time and improve yourself and the car. Bravery, confidence, quick reactions and a lot of self belief are also crucial for a driver as it is inevitable to experience some low points. You just have to put them behind you and believe in your ability to do well next time out.

What do you do when you’re not working?

I’m very busy when I’m not driving. I train extremely hard, I prepare for the next weekend with the team up at the workshop in Banbury, I meet sponsors and around all this I go to university at Nottingham and study Business Management. I don’t have a lot of free time at the moment!

How do you retain the fitness levels needed for a racing driver?

Fitness is crucial for racing, especially in GP2 with high G forces, hot temperatures and long races. I do a lot of cardiovascular training, mainly cycling and running to keep in top shape. I also do weight training, particularly on my arms and neck as they are the most important areas in the car. As I am quite tall for a racing driver I have to keep my weight down as much as possible, so I tend to focus more on the cardio training and also keep to a strict diet.

What is your day to day car?

An Audi A3.

Do you have trouble sticking to the speed limit?

Who doesn’t?!

What’s next for your career?

First I will need to show my sponsors that I have the ability to put in a championship challenge next year with my results this year. Then if I am able to do this I hope to be knocking on the door of Formula 1 by the end of next year.

What’s the best thing about living here in Sussex?

I like the calm and relaxed nature of Sussex, especially where I live, it is very peaceful. The countryside is great for cycling and it is close to London and also the sea. It is also great for good country pubs for having a catch up with friends.

Do you have any favourite places to go for a drive?

I do enough driving on the track that I never drive on the road unless I need to. I sometimes enjoy a few country roads around here though, especially around the Downs.


Sussex celebrities and personalities share what they love most about the county - Some of Sussex’s best known personalities have revealed in the magazine what they most love about the county. Here, we compile their stories, favourite restaurants, pubs, shops, views and places to visit


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