Jolyon Palmer had to sit out qualifying for the Formula 1 Gran Premio de México at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. A crack discovered in Jolyon’s R.S.16 chassis after FP3 meant a chassis change on safety grounds, rendering Jolyon unable to participate in the session.
The disappointment followed another encouraging run from the Briton, after he had earlier claimed P14 in the morning's practice session.
Jolyon said: "Unfortunately I had to sit out qualifying which was really frustrating as we looked pretty good in FP3 and I’ve been feeling happy with the car. I ran wide and straddled the kerb in the last corner during FP3. I felt a bump, but it didn’t feel like it was a big one, so I was surprised when we discovered the chassis was broken. Q2 was definitely on the cards today. We’re going to have to go all out to get points tomorrow."
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director, said: "Sadly Jolyon was unable to participate as his crew were busy changing the chassis, which is obviously frustrating as he should also have been in Q2, as demonstrated by his FP3 pace.
"A crack was discovered on his chassis after FP3. This was likely caused when he ran over a kerb during that session. The crack was on the underside of the chassis near to the seatbelt mount so we had to change chassis for safety reasons, and this takes more time than there was available between the sessions.
"The weather was a step warmer today and should be a step warmer again tomorrow which helps the tyres deliver their performance. The medium compound shows next to no degradation so we have to look at the possibilities offered by the other two compounds. Jolyon will start from the back of the grid so we have to consider the different strategy permutations for him. Given his position we have the option to run an aggressive strategy with him if it looks like the way to go."
Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.16-05 (cracked, R.S.16-02 for race)
Qualifying: no time set
Free Practice 3: P14: 1:20.959
"Unfortunately I had to sit out qualifying which was really frustrating as we looked pretty good in FP3 and I’ve been feeling happy with the car. Q2 was definitely on the cards today. We’re going to have to go all out to get points tomorrow." Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport Formula One Team Driver