Sport Palmer gets full commitment from Renault to improve

20:21  19 may  2017
20:21  19 may  2017 Source:

Abiteboul: Palmer has 'deep reserves' of mental strength

  Abiteboul: Palmer has 'deep reserves' of mental strength Jolyon Palmer has ‘deep reserves’ of mental strength according to his team boss Cyril Abiteboul, who believes he can bounce back after a torrid start to his 2017 campaign. Having been out-qualified by his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg at every race so far, and failing to score a point in any of the first four rounds, Palmer has recently been under intense scrutiny from the press and fans alike. The 2014 GP2 champion, however, he does have the backing of Abiteboul, who’s confident the British driver can recover. “For Jolyon, it’s been a tough start to the season; if there’s been an issue affecting the car, you can almost guarantee it happens his side of the garage,” Abiteboul told ESPN. “This is something we are responding to by ensuring each and every reliability issue that impacts upon performance is addressed and so much work occurs in this regard away from the track at Enstone and Viry. “We know that Jolyon has deep reserves and can bounce back well. We saw last year how he came on strong in the second half of the season so we’re working hard to give him the car in which he can deliver.” With a myriad of problems causing the Briton to miss out on critical track time in Russia, Palmer is hoping for a much more straightforward weekend at the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix and is hoping to score his first points of the season. “The outlook [for Barcelona] is good,” Palmer added. “We’ve seen what the R.S.17 is capable of and I know that all I need to score points is a straightforward weekend. Russia was really frustrating as I had a good car under me but I was out of the race by the second corner. That’s motor racing, but it’s still very frustrating.

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Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul has reaffirmed the team is fully committed to helping Jolyon Palmer rediscover his form after a frustrating start to the 2017 season.

After a strong finish to his first season in 2016, Palmer looked to have found his feet in Formula 1, regularly beating former team-mate Kevin Magnussen in the latter half of the season.

Unfortunately, the Briton has not had the opportunity to carry that form into 2017, with technical issues causing missed track time and an unpredictable setup window for the RS17, it has been difficult to complete a smooth race weekend.

When asked by if there was any explanation for the decline in form, Abiteboul replied: “No. I think during the weekend, he had on occasion glimpses of a good performing package overall.

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“A combination of the car, the set-up, the balance and himself driving we could see that and again in particular in qualifying.

“But I think it’s in general on Saturday, that’s the issue, we put the car on the Tarmac, it immediately works and some of the times you put it on the Tarmac and it doesn’t work and you have not changed a lot.

“On Saturday, he was not happy in the morning. Going into qualifying it was not better and on Sunday it didn’t improve. We have to look into that – we are committed to make this work.

“But you know – that’s five races into the season, so we also have more statistics to understand what is working and what is not working.”

David Ramos/Getty Images Sport © David Ramos/Getty Images Sport David Ramos/Getty Images Sport

Palmer mentioned he felt good in latter stages of the Spanish Grand Prix, but is keen to get his head down with the next race around the streets of Monte Carlo.

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“I wasn’t able to get the pace out of the car when it was needed, however, we were going better on the final set of tyres,” Palmer said.

“My job now is to sit down with my engineers and analyse the race while we also have a good look at the car too. I’m determined that we will do better in Monaco.”

Spanish F1 Grand Prix - Qualifying © David Ramos/Getty Images Sport Spanish F1 Grand Prix - Qualifying

Heidfeld hoping for Paris podium .
Nick Heidfeld is hoping to challenge points leaders Renault e.dams in Paris. The Mahindra driver recovered from two back-to-back pointless races to take third in Monaco, and hopes Paris will produce another podium. “What is interesting for us and most other teams is that Renault struggled a bit more here last season than anywhere else,” Heidfeld told Read Motorsport. “So hopefully we have a chance to fight them and go for a podium here.” Mahindra is currently third in the championship and, having taken more podiums than any other team besides Abt Audi Sport and Renault, seems best placed if either of the top teams run into trouble. But Renault wasn’t the only team to struggle in Paris last year. “Last year, some teams have more problems here to heat up the tyres,” Heidfeld said. “Unfortunately we were among those, so I hope that we understood and improved a bit.” The warmer temperatures and new tyres mean nobody knows for sure how the tyres will act, but it’s a factor many drivers believe could be important tomorrow.

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