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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.”

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”