Jonathan Palmer’s first taste of Formula 1 was testing a Williams in 1982 and 1983 whilst competing in Formula 2.
He was rewarded for his hard work in developing Williams’ FW08 and FW09 with a drive for Williams in the 1983 European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch – his F1 debut – finishing 13th.
He moved to RAM for a full time drive in 1984 where he was plagued by unreliability, before moving to Zakspeed in 1985.
Here he stayed for two seasons, retiring from more races than he finished.
After discussing joining McLaren as their #2 to Alain Prost for 1987, Palmer eventually joined Tyrell, picking up the Jim Clark Cup (a sort of class B championship for non-turbo powered cars) and a handful of points finishes with it.
A further two seasons with Tyrrell followed, where he managed to finish in the points no fewer than five times.
On leaving Tyrrell, he was signed as McLaren’s test driver for 1990.