Recent News

13 May 2018
Will Palmer completes maiden GP3 weekend with P13 after brave tyre gamble
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12 May 2018
P18 as Palmer makes GP3 debut
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11 May 2018
Qualifying improvements for Palmer ahead of GP3 race debut
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11 May 2018
Will Palmer makes GP3 race weekend debut with 18th in free practice
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02 May 2018
Will Palmer steps up to GP3 with MP Motorsport
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29 October 2017
Will Palmer secures Eurocup P2 with strong drives in Barcelona
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Will thrilled by McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award assessment

Will Palmer, the recently crowned 2015 Duo BRDC Formula 4 Champion, spent two days at Silverstone taking part in on-track assessments for the McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award last month (October).

The 18-year-old, who took 12 wins from 24 races on his way to the BRDC F4 title, drove a selection of different racing machines including a McLaren GT3, DTM Mercedes and a Formula 2 car. Palmer, who raced for HHC Motorsport this year, was joined by his five fellow nominees including 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Champion Jake Hughes in addition to Ben Barnicoat, Jack Aitken, Ricky Collard and Toby Sowery.

"It was great", enthused Palmer when asked how he found the experience. "It was a high pressure environment but it was brilliant to be able to drive all those cars and I really enjoyed it," he continued. "The F2 car was amazing to drive as it is much quicker in a straight line than my F4 car. It has lots of downforce too and once I got used to that, I felt happy pushing out on track," the Southwater driver explained on his single-seater experience in Northamptonshire.

Palmer also got behind the wheel of two tin-top cars, with the DTM car particularly impressing the teenager. "It felt awesome to drive. It has so much more grip than you can imagine a car like that having and it felt so racy too. You sit so far back in the car and the engine feels, and sounds, awesome. The balance was great too and it felt so planted so that was really an amazing thing to drive," he recounted.

The McLaren GT car also left an impression though, with Palmer stating: "It was impressive in a straight line. It has ABS and traction control so you can really smash the brakes as hard as you can and trust it to stop. It was good fun to drive."

Being nominated for the McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award is a prestigious honour and that was not lost on Palmer. He commented: "The other guys are all fantastic drivers and it is great just to be nominated alongside them. It is completely different to any race weekend with everything being examined including how you perform in the car, how you debrief with engineers and speak to judges. I approached it positively and tried to do the best job that I could in every way."

The winner of the award will be announced at the end-of-season AUTOSPORT awards in London on December 6, with the victor claiming an unrivalled prize including £100,000 cash, full BRDC membership, an Arai GP-6 carbon crash helmet and a prized McLaren F1 test. 2014 BRDC F4 Champion, and last year's MABA winner George Russell, received his drive in the F1 McLaren at Silverstone in front of this year's nominees and it left an indelible impression on Palmer: "It looked so good out on track as we could get so close to the car; the sound and speed of it was amazing to see. It made it more real that this could happen for one of us six drivers and I'm just praying now that it will be me."

Palmer now faces an anxious wait to find out his fate but he will be trying not to think about it too much in the coming weeks. "Naturally with an award with so much at stake it is difficult to just put it to the back of your mind. I have some testing lined up before then so I will focus on that, prepare for that and do as good a job as I can there," he coolly explained.

The final stage of the process took place at the McLaren Technology Centre earlier this month. Each candidate went through an interview process with the judging panel, chaired by BRDC President Derek Warwick and also includes double BTCC champion Jason Plato, McLaren head of vehicle engineering Mark Williams, 1997 Award winner Andrew Kirkaldy, leading circuit commentator Ian Titchmarsh, Motorsport News Editor Kevin Turner and AUTOSPORT features editor Scott Mitchell.

Latest Results

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain
Race 2
1.G Alesi16 laps
2.A Hubert+2.077s
3.J Hughes+2.376s
4.J Correa+3.295s
5.D Boccolacci+3.593s
6.N Kari+3.959s
7.C Ilott+4.904s
8.S Laaksonen+5.544s
9.L Pulcini+6.103s
13.W Palmer+12.603s

Latest Eurocup Standings

1.S Fenestraz367.5 points
2.W Palmer298 points
3.R Shwartzman285 points
4.M Defourny255 points
5.G Aubry232 points
6.M Fewtrell164 points
7.D Ticktum134 points
8.Y Ye106.5 points
9.R Verschoor89 points
10.A Peroni72 points