Palmer: the next Jen­son But­ton?


You have to go back 14 years to find the last Brit to race for the F1 team based in En­stone – and that was when Re­nault took over Benet­ton. Jen­son But­ton raced for them in 2001-02, but strug­gled due to the horse­power de­fi­cien­cies of the wide-an­gle en­gine. In his sec­ond race, in Malaysia, he fin­ished a dis­tant 11th – two laps down. But­ton de­scribed that year as his “most dif­fi­cult sea­son in mo­tor rac­ing.”

Things barely im­proved for his sec­ond year. Jen­son was all set for a podium at Sepang un­til sus­pen­sion fail­ure dropped him to fourth, and by Monaco he had been in­formed by team boss Flavio Bri­a­tore that his ser­vices would not be re­quired for the fol­low­ing sea­son.

De­spite fal­low years at Re­nault and Honda, Jen­son’s re­silience paid off when he be­came world cham­pion with Brawn in 2009. There’s a mes­sage there for Jolyon Palmer, the next Bri­tish racer head­ing for En­stone…

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