Renault Formula 1 driver Jolyon Palmer believes that he is “driving better than ever” as he sets his sights on scoring his first points next weekend in Singapore.
2014 GP2 champion Palmer made his F1 debut at the beginning of the season with Renault, partnering Kevin Magnussen upon the French marque’s return to the series as a constructor after six years away.
2016 has been seen as a year of rebuilding for Renault after its takeover of Lotus, which struggled financially over the past few years, placing a strain on resources.
As such, the R.S.16 car has failed to allow either of its drivers to fight high up the field, the team’s only points coming in May’s Russian Grand Prix courtesy of Magnussen.
Palmer’s drought continued last weekend at Monza after a clash with former GP2 rival Felipe Nasr early led to both drivers retiring.
Nevertheless, Palmer is keeping his head up, confident that he can bounce back under the lights in Singapore.
“The summer break allowed me to recharge my batteries completely and now I’m fully in the zone,” he said.
“Spa and Monza were not the easiest tracks for us but Singapore offers more of an opportunity I think.
“I’m driving better than ever and I’m exceptionally keen to have a strong result after the frustration of Monza.”
Palmer is relishing the opportunity to return to Singapore, having won the GP2 feature race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in 2013.
“I love Singapore and it’s a totally different challenge from Monza. It’s a street race with close walls taking place at night so it’s a unique event on the calendar,” Palmer said.
“I’ve raced and won there in the GP2 Series and it was one of my best wins. In fact, I raced there two years running and both years were very good. It’s a better opportunity for a stronger result.
“We see the circuit change a lot over the weekend as the surface rubbers in then the climatic conditions are reasonably different between FP1 and FP2, then FP3 and qualifying.
“So getting a good handle on the balance of the car gives us plenty of work as generally it’s cooler later in the night. It’s not a conventional weekend!”