Jolyon Palmer says tough F1 rookie season made him mentally tougher

Jolyon Palmer believes his difficult rookie season in Formula 1 with Renault in 2016 has made him stronger mentally

Jolyon Palmer says tough F1 rookie season made him mentally tougher

The 25-year-old considers it one of the hardest seasons of his career, and believes that the combined challenges of dealing with a difficult-to-drive car and speculation over his future has made him a more robust character.

"I've become a lot stronger because of this year, mentally it has been tough," Palmer told Autosport.

"Everything that could have been thrown my way has been, in terms of driving a difficult car and maybe being undervalued.

"Also, having all the mind games with different drivers out there [chasing the seat for 2017] and not knowing what's going to happen next means you gain a lot of mental strength, as well as improving as a driver.

"I don't think it's a bad thing if it can improve you in the long run and hopefully this will be the toughest it gets."

Palmer also believes he has improved his technical understanding significantly.

He cites the post-British Grand Prix test at Silverstone as a particular breakthrough.

"In terms of technical understanding, I've learned a lot," said Palmer.

"The Silverstone test day, we were trying loads of different things with the car and generally we have ended up with the car in the window where we can get the most out of it because we have tried quite a lot of things and we have narrowed down to where we are now.

"This team is very good, there are a lot of very experienced guys here who have been used to being much further up the field and who are not happy to be where we are, so everyone is working to get more out of the team.

"Especially with Renault coming in now, being where we are is not acceptable, but we have been trying a lot of different things and there's a lot we can collectively learn for the future."

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