Renault working to rebuild Palmer’s confidence after slow start to season

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Renault Formula 1 chief Cyril Abiteboul says the team is working to help rebuild Jolyon Palmer’s confidence after a point-less start to the 2017 season.

2014 GP2 Series champion Palmer made his F1 debut with Renault last year, taking one point through his rookie season as the team struggled for pace towards the back of the field.

Palmer was retained for 2017 alongside new teammate Nico Hulkenberg, but has failed to enjoy an upturn in fortunes, enduring a luckless run of form to start the year.

A miserable weekend in Australia full of setbacks ended in retirement before runs to P13 in China and Bahrain, while the Briton was eliminated in Russia at the first corner after a clash with Romain Grosjean.

“We’ve been through what has happened since the start of the season, including the winter test, when we were in Barcelona and he already had difficult conditions to deal with,” Abiteboul said of Palmer.

“Limited mileage over the winter, a number of reliability issues in preparation for the first four races, which has not been helpful, and clearly he has a very talented team-mate, which is clearly showing what the car is capable of.

“But having said, Nico is not a magician, and that’s what I’m telling [Palmer]. He has shown that on occasion he has definitely the pace to match his team-mate, so it is on that we are focusing.

“We are making sure that he now has a clean weekend so that he can build his confidence, that we can rebuild his confidence in himself.”