Renault F1's Palmer says he's driving as well as when he won GP2

Jolyon Palmer believes he is driving as well as he did when he won the 2014 GP2 title, despite enduring a frustrating start to life in Formula 1 with Renault

Renault F1's Palmer says he's driving as well as when he won GP2

Palmer has yet to score a point in what has been a difficult season for the French manufacturer, returning to F1 this year following its takeover of Lotus.

F1's mid-season driver ratings

The 25-year-old is fighting to retain his place with Renault for 2017, and feels he has raised his game mentally and technically to eliminate mistakes in recent months.

"I feel like I turned a corner after Monaco," Palmer told Autosport.

"I started well in Melbourne, but the next few races were more difficult for me, with Monaco a tough weekend [crashing out in the wet].

"But after that, pace-wise I've been there or thereabouts, and with every race I've been getting stronger and stronger.

"I'm getting more consistent, and I feel like I'm driving to a similar level to that when I was winning GP2, but now in F1.

"So I feel like I'm driving really well without making many mistakes."

On what has made the difference, Palmer added: "I have understood the car a bit better, how to get the most out of it.

"After Monaco I also just needed a bit of a reset mentally.

"So between those two I've been able to improve myself continuously to the point that I feel like I'm doing a good, consistent job."

Palmer, however, did make a key error in the penultimate race before the summer break in Hungary when he spun out whilst in the points, which added to his irritation.

He also had to pit at the end of the first lap in the German Grand Prix following contact with Felipe Massa's Williams, but overall can sense he has made gains and caught up with the rest of the field.

"It's been frustrating, especially how I know I was driving in GP2 when I won it," said Palmer.

"In the early races I was making a few too many mistakes, sometimes a step behind really.

"In Hungary I spun out of 10th place, which was a massive shame. One corner in the whole race I got wrong, but apart from that I felt like I was dragging the best out of the car.

"In F1 it is more complicated when you have all the different FP1 sessions, the car evolves through the weekend, the track evolves through the weekend.

"The competition is constantly finding the gains and you've got to keep with it.

"But I feel like I've learned a lot and that I'm driving really well."

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