The Australian Grand Prix weekend was one to forget for Jolyon Palmer. Damage sustained to the rear of his Renault RS17 after an off in FP2. His car never really recovered for Qualifying or the race, the Brit languishing at the back of the order and unhappy with the feel of the car.
It was a shame, fans who only tune in to watch qualifying and the race might have taken away the perception that Palmer was terribly off the pace. He was a second behind Stoffel Vandoorne in Q1, his earlier FP2 time actually quicker than the one that put him at the back of the grid.
With the amount of money that circulates around the sport and with this year being one in which Palmer needs to get some better results to retain his seat, it is understandable that the Renault driver wants assurances that the issues he suffered in Australia don’t carry over to the Chinese Grand Prix because of suspected internal damage on the car. On the issue, Palmer said,
“Obviously I had a big crash on Friday so we’ve changed a lot of parts on the car. We just need to have a good look and make sure everything is working as it should.
I trust the guys will do that, they’re experienced and know what they’re doing so I have no worries on my side. We just need to have a good look and make sure we’re in a good position to start in China.”
– Jolyon Palmer
— Renault Sport F1 (@RenaultSportF1) March 25, 2017
Despite the lowly starting position, Palmer got away from the line well, pulling a risky move between Vandoorne and Giovanazzi on the run up to turn three, he also benefitted from the Nordic nightmare between Magnussen and Ericsson just up the road.
The Brit is hoping to get much closer to his teammate around Shanghai and if last Friday’s practice sessions were Yang, a bit of Ying next Friday should balance out the start to his season in China.