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The Jolyon Palmer Column

Jolyon Palmer has been writing a regular column for C4F1 throughout 2016

Jolyon Palmer is preparing to go from ‘ordinary bloke’ to Formula 1 star as he buckles up for his debut season with the Renault Sport Formula One team in 2016.

The 25-year-old will be writing about his experiences for C4F1 and in his latest column he is revelling in a British summer of sport.

We are in the middle of a crazy summer of sport, including four grands prix in July, Wimbledon and Euro 2016.

I'm a sports fan and I'll hold my hand up and say I've been watching a fair bit of sport in between races - some might say too much as an England football fan. 

At the races in Azerbaijan and Canada we were all out watching the football at the track or back at the hotel. 

It was good fun, especially with a chunk of the Renault team being French. We were all looking forward to the big quarter-final between England and France but that wasn't to be. 

The banter between the drivers has been a bit quiet. England only played Dany Kvyat's Russia but I didn't see him when that match was on. 

I'm sure the paddock rivalries will emerge a bit further down the line but the England contingent won't be involved in that now.

I had some friends round for the England-Iceland game. It was the only game of the Euros that I was back at home in London for, so we settled in with a takeaway to watch the football and make an evening of it. 

When England scored after five minutes I thought it would be a rout… so I was a bit wrong on that one.  

I'm a demoralised England fan but the good news is that I'm half Welsh!

My Mum is Welsh so now that England's campaign has been a bit disastrous, I'm switching my allegiance to Wales and hope that they can have a good run. Is that allowed?!

I love watching Wimbledon every year. It's a shame we have back-to-back races during the fortnight but I'll follow the tennis as much as I can. 

Watching Wimbledon was part of growing up. I remember following Tim Henman and supporting him on the TV, although he never quite made it all the way. These days I usually support Roger Federer.

I do play tennis casually, and always have done. It's a good way to get a bit of cardio training in, instead of going on a long run.

I have a bit of a Federer backhand - just without any of the class. It's one-handed but he can pull it off a lot a better than me. 

When I'm watching sport it doesn't cross my mind that sometimes I'm competing on TV too.
I've been watching the Euros and Wimbledon, and I'll watch the Olympics in August too, but they feel very separate from F1.

Watching sport for me is social and something I enjoy doing whereas driving is my nine-to-five - even if it is a dream job.

The sports feel different too. When the athletes go head-to-head across the grass at Wimbledon it must be a very intense experience for those two players.

Whereas for F1 drivers, we drive with helmets on, there are 22 of us on track at once and it feels less intense in terms of the human pressure. 

The Marcus Willis story has been great at Wimbledon. [Willis is the British world No. 772 who played Federer in the second round of Wimbledon).

Even though he was beaten, it was incredible that he's even had a chance to play Federer. You wouldn't get that kind of story in F1, and it's the same with Iceland knocking out 
England to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.

In those sports, everyone has the same equipment, the same chance and they can turn up on the day and have a great game.

It's a little bit different for racing drivers. If we really put everything together we might still not have a chance of winning, unless everyone else crashes out. 

We do get a lot of athletes from the other spheres of sport coming along to the F1 races, although I don’t often get the chance to see them.

There was more excitement and people spotting at the Goodwood Festival of Speed at the end of June.

I was there for four days and drove the Lotus E20 up the famous hill. It was great, there was a massive crowd. It's a home event for me so the British support was huge, which was nice to see.

There were a few familiar faces at Goodwood. Stoffel Vandoorne took an old McLaren up the hill, Pierre Gasly was in a Red Bull and Karun Chandhok had a couple of old Williams cars, so it was good to catch up with those guys in a relaxed environment. 

Here's an interesting C4F1 fact, for you Karun was actually driving my Dad's first F1 car. 
It was Keke Rosberg's 1983 Williams and my Dad did a one-off race at Brand's Hatch that year as Keke's teammate in a third car. 

Who knows, that could have been the start of an F1 journey for both of us. 

Watch how Jolyon gets on at his home race in Great Britain LIVE on Channel 4 on 8-10th July.