F1 rookie Palmer feels he can prove himself against Magnussen

Jolyon Palmer believes he can still make a good impression in Formula 1 by getting on terms with Kevin Magnussen even though Renault's 2016 season looks set to be a write-off

F1 rookie Palmer feels he can prove himself against Magnussen

Jolyon Palmer believes he can still make a good impression in Formula 1 by getting on terms with Kevin Magnussen even though Renault's 2016 season looks set to be a write-off.

The two Renaults were slowest of all in qualifying in Baku a fortnight ago and have generally been fighting just to get beyond Q1, the lateness with which Renault's deal to re-acquire Lotus was completed having compromised this year's campaign.

With no certainty of a 2017 seat, Palmer acknowledges his best bet with Renault struggling is to improve his form relative to team-mate Kevin Magnussen, who has taken the team's only points so far and only been outqualified by Palmer once in a straight fight.

"I can still impress because I'm against a team-mate who's been on the podium," said the 2014 GP2 champion.

"He's got a year's experience racing in F1, so I need to show what I can do against Kev."

Renault technical director Nick Chester said Palmer was making progress.

"He's coming on, he's getting more confidence, he's working hard and understanding the car better," Chester told Autosport.

"We can see steady improvement from Jolyon.

"He's getting his head around how to manage tyres, look after his switches, so he's getting there."

Palmer is also refusing to give up hope of Renault gaining ground during 2016.

"It's not a write-off for the team because the guys are still working on this year's car, on everything," he said.

"Some of the focus is on next year, but at the moment we're still pushing on new things for this year.

"We've got new stuff coming. There are still opportunities even though we're at the back."

AUTOSPORT SAYS
By Ben Anderson, Grand Prix Editor (@BenAndersonAuto)

Palmer has not enjoyed the easiest start to his rookie season in Formula 1. But rookie seasons in teams that are in a state of flux are never straightforward.

It would be easy to focus on his multiple shunts during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, or his woeful lack of pace in China (where he finished last), and the fact he's been outqualified by Magnussen more often than not, and conclude Palmer's not been up to the task.

But there are mitigating circumstances. His car sustained undetected floor damage in China. With a new one installed for the next race in Russia he qualified within a tenth of his more experienced team-mate.

Discounting Russia and Canada, where Magnussen didn't participate in qualifying, the average gap is only 0.137 seconds, and don't forget Palmer was ahead on his debut in Australia.

Palmer has found it difficult to get comfortable in a car that has been inconsistent, and particularly difficult to drive over bumps and kerbs.

But it does seem he made a set-up breakthrough in Montreal, where he struggled badly on Friday but came within 0.015s of making Q2.

In Baku he qualified last, but lapped within 0.046s of Magnussen.

The problem was Palmer then went off three times in the race and finished behind his team-mate, who started from the pitlane.

Palmer is getting on better with his car at last, but now he needs to cut out those mistakes and prove he can string it all together with consistency.

shares
comments
Haas Formula 1 team working with Dallara to cure wing failures

Previous article

Haas Formula 1 team working with Dallara to cure wing failures

Next article

Carlos Sainz Jr gets 2017 F1 deal with Toro Rosso

Carlos Sainz Jr gets 2017 F1 deal with Toro Rosso
Load comments
Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. On the 50th anniversary of his death, Autosport recalls the career of an F1 and sportscar ace gone before his time

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021