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Palmer keen to snap bad luck in Austria, begin to build momentum

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Jolyon Palmer wants to end his run of bad luck in Formula 1 and begin to build momentum in next weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix to carry through to the sport’s summer break.

Palmer has endured a point-less start to the season with Renault, with his sole top-10 finish in F1 coming in last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

Speculation has been rife about the Briton’s future at Enstone amid suggestions he could be replaced mid-season, with a difficult weekend in Azerbaijan last time out not aiding matters.

Palmer suffered problems in his car on all three days of the race weekend, preventing him from taking part in qualifying or finishing the race.

“There isn’t a lot to say from my weekend, but it was a crazy race to watch!” Palmer said of Baku.

“I enjoyed watching it, but I wish I was in it, I think there were some points up for grabs for us.

“We will make sure we have a better one in Austria, the target is always the same: to bring home some points.”

Palmer is treating the Austria weekend as a catalyst to kick-start his season, having previously enjoyed strong outings at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.

“We started on the penultimate row last year but I managed to work my way up to 12th, beating my teammate. I was quite happy with the race, we just needed a little bit of extra luck and I think we could have been in the points,” Palmer said.

“It is a circuit I enjoy having raced there in GP2 in 2014 and then a Free Practice session in 2015. It was definitely one of my strongest races of last season, so it is important to build on the knowledge we have and my confidence at the track and work towards a positive result.

“We need to change our luck. I hope we can make it all stick heading into the final few rounds before the summer break – beginning here.”

F1 2017 driver review: Romain Grosjean

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Romain Grosjean

Team: Haas
Car No.: 8
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P6 (Austria)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 28
Championship Position: 13th

After leading Haas’ charge through its debut Formula 1 season in 2016, Romain Grosjean once again stepped up as team leader for the American team through its sophomore campaign despite scoring one point fewer.

Haas did not expect any major step in performance heading into 2017, having dealt with building all-new cars for two different sets of regulations, but the team was able to match its season one points total by the halfway mark this time around.

The big boost was the addition of a second points scoring driver – Kevin Magnussen – to partner Grosjean. Grosjean looked increasingly comfortable at Haas even if the car often presented problems, particularly under braking.

Radio rants were frequent, with Grosjean unable to drive around the issues as Magnussen did. But he was nevertheless able to finish the year as Haas’ top scorer, with his highlight moment being a perfect run to sixth in Austria.

Greater consistency was evident from both Grosjean and Haas through 2017, yet there were still swings in form that need to be ironed out in the future. The team was unable to capitalize on Renault and Toro Rosso’s late season difficulties that could have seen it jump to sixth in the constructors’ championship.

Grosjean once again proved himself to be a very competent and talented racer through 2017, but needs a little more panache – perhaps down to the car more than anything – if he is to put himself in the frame for a top-line drive in the future.

Haas continues to offer a good platform, though, and its third season should be its best yet thanks to the stability in the regulations. It will be a real chance for Grosjean to show what he can do.

Season High: A perfect run to sixth in Austria, leading the midfield cars.

Season Low: Crashing early with Ocon in Brazil, hurting Haas’ constructors’ hopes.