Date: 21st March 2016 at 12:07pm
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If Formula One had a ‘rookie of the day’ award it would easily have gone to Renault’s Jolyon Palmer.

The 2014 GP2 Champion impressed on his debut in Formula One, despite having 12 month away from competitive motorsport.

After clinching the Formula One feeder series title in 2014, rules dictate that he is not allowed to defend his title, leaving Palmer without a drive for 2015.

He joined Lotus and had partaken in a few practice sessions during Formula One race weekends, but had missed the regular wheel-to-wheel racing.

But if he had been worried about it, shouldn’t have been.

‘I wasn’t worried about it. I was just enjoying it, going wheel-to-wheel, I would like to do a bit more attacking, there was a lot of defending, but it came back completely naturally. Being right on the edge, but not touches and a bit of racing room. Palmer told

Palmer had some memorable scraps throughout the Grand Prix, including with McLaren Honda’s Fernando Alonso and Toro Rosso pair Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen.

‘I loved all the wheel-to-wheel stuff. First lap, I was up against Alonso for half a lap, side-by-side. And he’s good.

‘[Toro Rosso] have a really quick car. When I saw Sainz coming behind me I thought this will be tough, but I was in the points and I wanted to try and hold him off.

‘When I started to hold them off for a bit, I thought I’d chance my arm and hopefully they would come together, or at least drop back a little bit. The problem was they were so quick that it was every corner that I had to be watching them.

‘It was inevitable [they would get past] in the end.