In an interview with Autosport yesterday, Pastor Maldonado believes that his new team mate Jolyon Palmer is ready to make the step up to a Formula 1 race seat after spending a year as Lotus’s reserve driver.
The 2014 GP2 champion took part in first practice at 13 of the 19 grands prix in 2015 and will replace Romain Grosjean, who leaves Lotus to join the American outfit Haas.
Renault confirmed earlier this month that it has bought out the Lotus team; bringing to an end months of speculation.
While Maldonado is unsure how much running in first practice will actually help Palmer, because the conditions are so unrepresentative, he’s sure Palmer will be strong. In his interview with Autosport yesterday, Maldonado stated the following:-
‘It’s always difficult because he has been running this year on most of the Fridays but always with the harder compounds on a very green track and that is the worst moment of the weekend.
‘He’s a good driver, he’s very intelligent and I wish him the best. I think he is ready. I hope he pushes hard with me to put the team in a good place. Spending the year with Lotus, it will help him from one side because he knows everyone, he knows how we work.
‘Of course he is not experienced racing in Formula 1, he is not experienced having time to set up the car but that will come. If you are clever and do your job with the guys, this will come automatically. He needs some time to adapt himself to the races, too.’