Palmer places 14th on the grid for Formula One debut

Jolyon Palmer US-151029-164101002
Jolyon Palmer US-151029-164101002

Southwater’s Jolyon Palmer will line-up 14th on the grid in his debut Formula One grand prix in Australia tomorrow.

The 25-year-old Briton will be in the seventh row on the grid after he performed extremely well during his first qualifying sessions with Renault Sport in Melbourne.

Palmer, who was Lotus’ third and reserve driver last season, recorded a 1:27.601 lap in Q2, beating team-mate Kevin Magnussen in the process, who sits a place behind in 15th.

Wet conditions interrupted free practice on Friday, meaning the up-and-coming driver’s time on the circuit was limited.

He was on the grid under the controversial new qualifying rules where cars are eliminated every 90 seconds in the later stages of running.

He was up to 15th in the first session and after dropping down the order, a final attempt saw him produce a good lap to get through to Q2 - where he produced another impressive lap for 14th place.

Speaking to his official website, Palmer said: “That felt pretty good. There was some pressure of course as the team kept me informed, and I knew I was on the bubble for much of the first session.

“Thankfully I managed to put it all together. We made Q2 and then went on to get a decent position on the grid – happy days.”

At the front of the grid, Lewis Hamilton took his career 50th pole with 1:23.837, three tenths of a second behind was team-mate Nico Rosberg in a one-two for Mercedes.

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