Balancing act - Q&A with Jolyon Palmer

Were you happy with the progress made in Russia?
If I’d been asked that question at the end of Friday in Sochi, I’d have said no as that day certainly wasn’t going my way. However, the team changed the floor of my car on Friday night and for Saturday onwards the balance felt normal and consistent again, which was a positive for the rest of the weekend and hopefully looking forward too.

What’s the plan for the Spanish Grand Prix?
A strong, solid weekend would be nice. We’ve made progress with the car and I’m happy with the balance and how it drives again. Kevin scored points for the team in Russia so we know what’s possible. It’s the first race in Europe and at a track we all know really well. I’m pretty pumped-up for a strong weekend.

What do you think of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya?
I’ve been there many times and it’s a track that most Formula 1 drivers know extremely well, even just from the pre-season testing we’ve already done there this year. From a driving point of view we know exactly what to expect, however it’s traditionally the first circuit where you see a lot of updates brought so you can see some differences in relative competitiveness depending on who’s got updates, and how well those updates work.

Lots of fast corners = a physical circuit for the driver?
It’s certainly one of the more physical circuits as there are a lot of long, fast corners, lots of high lateral Gs that put your neck and your core under strain. For the long corners the aero is really important, and with the DRS on the straight and the tyre degradation we see there, there’s potential for a good race.

Do you like the long fast corners?
I prefer quick stuff - a long quick one or a short quick one I really don’t mind, as long as you really hang it out and commit hard to it. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has a couple that really take my fancy: turn three’s a really long, fast corner, and then turn nine as well is a really good one; it’s quick and it’s blind to the exit so you really have to commit.

Any good racing memories from Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya?
I had a double podium in 2014 with two second places in the GP2 Series with some good overtakes in two fun races there. It’s not been a circuit that’s been especially kind to me, but it’s a good challenge and one I enjoy.

What do you think of the city?
Barcelona’s a cool city. The weather’s nice, the atmosphere’s always good and it’s just a very happening place with great culture. There’s also strong enthusiasm for Formula 1.