Maldonado backs Palmer to shine in 2016


Pastor Maldonado is confident Lotus team-mate Jolyon Palmer can make an impact in his maiden Formula One season next year.

After winning the 2014 GP2 title, the 24-year-old spent the 2015 campaign as Lotus' reserve driver.

He has been handed the opportunity to replace Romain Grosjean, who departed to join Haas, for the upcoming season - the team's first back under Renault ownership - and the Venezuelan is confident he is up to the challenge.

"He's a good driver, he's very intelligent and I wish him the best," Maldonado told Autosport.

"I think he is ready. I hope he pushes hard with me to put the team in a good place.

"Spending the year with Lotus, it will help him from one side because he knows everyone, he knows how we work.

"Of course he is not experienced racing in Formula One, he is not experienced having time to set up the car but that will come.

"If you are clever and do your job with the guys, this will come automatically.

"He needs some time to adapt himself to the races, too."