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.