Anecdotes of sports medicine - Jonathan Palmer

For the edition of the Limburg Congres for sports medicine, in which we invited speakers that were both doctors and athletes that practiced sport at a high level, we invited Doctor Jonathan Palmer (1956-), the formula 1 pilot that drove for Tyrell, Williams, Zakspeed and RAM.

His lecture would take place on Saturday morning at 11 am and we agreed that I would pick him up at the Kiewit-Hasselt airport, a few kilometers away from the congress center, where he would land with his private sport plane.

The room was full and even our national TV channel had sent a film crew with Dirk Abrahams, who at that time covered Formula One for the national channel BRT. The audience, however, had to wait an hour, because Palmer only landed at about 12 o'clock, because he had forgotten that there is one hour difference between Belgium and Great Britain.

Palmer only briefly practised medcine before he opted for a full-time career in motor sport, which already started when he was a Medical student. He drove a total of 83 Grand Prix's with a fourth place as best result and a total of fourteen points. In 1984 he won the 1000 km of Brands Hatch with the Dutchman Jan Lammers (1956-) in a Porsche

After his racing career, Palmer became a BBC commentator, when James Hunt (1947-1993) unexpectedly died of a heart attack, and later at CBC.

Jonathan Palmer is the man behind the Formula Palmer Audi racing class. He is the CEO of MotorSport Vision, a company which owns the racing circuits Brands Hatch, Snetterton Motor Racing Circuit and Oulton Park Circuit.

His son Jolyon Palmer (1991-) also became Formula 1 pilot and raced for Force India, Lotus and Renault.