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Palmer looks to recover in China from ‘shocker’ Australian weekend

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Renault’s Jolyon Palmer scored his first and thus far only career point of his Formula 1 career at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit last year, a track similar in nature and design to one of Hermann Tilke’s earlier creations, the Shanghai International Circuit.

He’ll be hoping he’s back on form this weekend at Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix, after a nightmare start to his sophomore season in the 2017 Australian Grand Prix.

Palmer was frustrated and called his car “terrible” during the weekend, including after his pre-qualifying crash in second free practice. But the Englishman said heading into Shanghai he thinks the Renault Sport F1 Team has his chassis sorted and that he feels the team has more speed for this circuit.

“It’s a clean slate approach for me as Australia was a bit of a shocker,” Palmer said. “Fortunately the team were able to find the particular gremlin which affected me over the weekend so I’m heading to Shanghai as if it’s my first race of the season. Nico’s shown the race potential so let’s get out there and make points happen.”

After completing just 10 laps in Friday practice sessions at Melbourne, then qualifying on the back row and retiring, Palmer seeks a clean weekend when he has more time in the car.

“More time in the car is all that’s needed to lead to a much better weekend. It’s as simple as that,” he said.

“Albert Park was a really frustrating start to the season so I’m looking to get more laps on the board and more progress in the race.

“Obviously, there were many factors out of my hands in Australia, so the team’s checked over the car very carefully to ensure we don’t see a repeat of any of the same issues. From my side, I’ll be avoiding the walls very keenly too!”

Palmer was in the news over the weekend on a different note, for humorous reasons rather than angry ones.

He joined Jason Plato, David Coulthard and Rob Smedley in Silverstone’s April Fool’s gag that it planned to run races counter-clockwise at the Silverstone Circuit rather than clockwise.

We avoided April Fool’s content on its own, but this was a chance to see Palmer out of his serious element and having a laugh.

Formula 1: Recapping the past week’s news

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This past week in Formula 1 was dominated by teams launching their 2018 challengers for the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season.

A total of six teams took the covers off their new chassis for the world to see this week, joining Haas F1 Team and Williams Martini Racing in doing so.

The list below contains the teams that launched their 2018 chassis this week and the name of their 2018 chassis:

  • Red Bull Racing – RB14
  • Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team – C37
  • Renault Sport F1 Team – R.S.18
  • Scuderia Ferrari – SJ71H
  • Mercedes AMG Petronas – W09
  • McLaren F1 Team – MCL33

Testing for everyone begins on Monday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, home of the Spanish Grand Prix, beginning a stretch of two weeks of pre-season testing prior to the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Sahara Force India and Scuderia Toro Rosso are expected to unveil their 2018 cars the morning of the first day of testing.

Force India Up for Sale?

Rumors about the future of Sahara Force India, already rumored to be changing names soon, took yet another interesting this week as news surfaced about a possible sale of the team to British energy drink firm Rich Energy.

This news also comes as current majority team owner Dr. Vijay Mallya faces developing legal troubles involving money laundering, further adding to the murky environment surrounding a team that has become the “best of the rest” behind Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull in recent years.

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