Jolyon Palmer hopes to bounce back from a difficult Chinese Grand Prix weekend by battling for his first points of the 2016 Formula 1 season in Russia next Sunday.
Renault returned to F1 as a constructor for 2016 after six years away, and came close to scoring points in both Australia and Bahrain with Palmer and teammate Kevin Magnussen impressing.
However, the team’s hopes of breaking into the top 10 in China were tempered as it struggled for pace all weekend long, its cars ultimately ailing to 17th (Magnussen) and 22nd (Palmer) at the checkered flag.
“It wasn’t pretty and we’re analysing to make sure we can learn every lesson possible from the weekend,” Palmer said.
“It was certainly a weekend where we struggled so we’re doing everything to understand why. We’ve made good progress and what we can achieve is certainly better than what we saw in Shanghai.
“From my perspective, I’m still learning what exactly I need from this car at different tracks, on different tires and in different conditions.
“We’ve made some good progress dissecting and understanding and this should translate to improvement on track in due course.”
Palmer is a former winner at Sochi in GP2, and he hopes to put this knowledge to good use with a strong weekend.
“My first aim is to get back to a Melbourne level of performance where I was happy with the car,” Palmer said.
“As a team too, we were happy with the level of performance as we were through to Q2 in qualifying and near the points in the race with both cars quite evenly matched.
“I haven’t been able to replicate that in the last couple of races so that’s what we’ve been focusing on.
“We know that Russia won’t necessarily be the very best circuit for us, but I’m focused on my own performance to extract the very most I can from behind the wheel.”