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GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer still chasing 2015 Formula 1 test role

GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer insists he has not given up on landing a role in Formula 1 this year, even though all race seats have gone

The Briton had hoped to earn an F1 drive for 2015 on the back of his GP2 success, but the collapse of two teams and increased financial demands from midfield outfits have left him unable to sort a deal.

However, after a strong testing run for Force India in Abu Dhabi, Palmer still has his sights set on a tie-up with an F1 outfit so he can be ready to target race opportunities in 2016.

Speaking on the main stage at the AUTOSPORT International Show, Palmer said: "As GP2 champion, I am not ready to give up on the F1 dream just yet.

"I think there is going to be some opportunity in the future. For this year it is not going to happen because there are 18 cars and 18 drivers already in them.

"So now we have to focus on the next best thing and that is working with an F1 team and trying to get some mileage in a car and prepare myself for 2016."

Palmer admits that there are frustrations at seeing GP2 rivals Felipe Nasr and Raffaele Marciello land jobs in F1, but says that their chances only serve to spur him on.

"It is frustrating definitely, but if they do a good job, then I beat them in 2014, so I can benchmark myself a little bit off them," he said.

SUPERLICENCE CHANGE WELCOMED

Changes to the F1 superlicence rules for 2016 that will prevent drivers without success in junior categories buying their way into grand prix racing have prompted much discussion this week.

Although he drew short of supporting the points system adopted by the FIA, Palmer welcomed the fact that drivers will need more than just money to get a superlicence now.

"I think it's not a bad thing to have a criteria for a superlicence," he said. "Previously you could get a superlicence with enough testing mileage and you could get enough testing mileage by basically buying it.

"Bringing in the criteria is good. I think the criteria itself I probably shouldn't comment on, but there are a lot of drivers on the grid that wouldn't make it with that criteria - Max Verstappen, and Carlos Sainz as well as he is the World Series [Formula Renault 3.5] champion."

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