Car No.: 30
Best Finish: 10th (Malaysia)
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Championship Position: 18th
Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)
2014 GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer finally got his Formula 1 break with Renault, snapping up a seat after a year in a reserve role. With the team focusing on rebuilding instead of outright success through 2016, though, expectations were never that high.
That said, Palmer clearly struggled early on. His debut in Australia was solid, but thereafter, too many rookie errors shone through, most notably in Monaco.
However, as the season wore on, Palmer managed to find his feet and begin to match teammate Kevin Magnussen more and more. His point in Malaysia was well-earned.
Palmer didn’t steal the show through his rookie year, but if he can continue his late-season progression through 2017, then we might have the makings of a handy grand prix racer.
Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)
Like fellow young gun at Renault Kevin Magnussen, Jolyon Palmer had a lot to prove in his first full season in the sport. The Englishman had a few notable moments and got better as the year went on.
Qualifying ahead of Magnussen on numerous occasions in the second half was good to see. Palmer scored his first and only point at Malaysia and could have had perhaps an eighth or ninth at Hungary before a spin that salted away his chances.
Having Nico Hulkenberg on board next year will provide a more meaningful measuring stick, and begin to determine whether Palmer has the long-term potential to stick at this level.