After a few challenges so far this season, Jolyon Palmer has reset and reloaded and is focused on having a strong weekend in Spain.
What’s the outlook heading to the first European race of the season?
The outlook is good. We’ve seen what the R.S.17 is capable of and I know that all I need to score points is a straightforward weekend. Russia was really frustrating as I had a good car under me but I was out of the race by the second corner. That’s motor racing, but it’s still very frustrating.
What do you think of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya?
I’ve been there many times and it’s a track that most Formula 1 drivers know extremely well, even just from the pre-season testing we do there. From a driving point of view we know exactly what to expect, however it’s traditionally the first circuit where you see a lot of updates brought so you can see some differences in relative competitiveness depending on who’s got updates, and how well those updates work.
Do you like the long fast corners?
I prefer quick stuff - a long quick one or a short quick one I really don’t mind, as long as you really hang it out and commit hard to it. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has a couple that really take my fancy: turn three’s a really long, fast corner, and then turn nine as well is a really good one; it’s quick and it’s blind to the exit so you really have to commit. It’s certainly one of the more physical circuits as there are a lot of long, fast corners, lots of high lateral Gs that put your neck and your core under strain. For the long corners the aero is really important, and with the DRS on the straight and the tyre degradation we see there, there’s potential for a good race.
Any good racing memories from Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya?
I had a double podium in 2014 with two second places in the GP2 Series with some good overtakes in two fun races there. It’s not been a circuit that’s been especially kind to me, but it’s a good challenge and one I enjoy.
What do you think of the city?
Barcelona’s a cool city. The weather’s nice, the atmosphere’s always good and it’s just a very happening place with great culture. There’s also strong enthusiasm for Formula 1.
Renault Sport Racing Managing Director, Cyril Abiteboul, said:
For Jolyon, it’s been a tough start to the season; if there’s been an issue affecting the car, you can almost guarantee it happens his side of the garage. This is something we are responding to by ensuring each and every reliability issue that impacts upon performance is addressed and so much work occurs in this regard away from the track at Enstone and Viry. We know that Jolyon has deep reserves and can bounce back well. We saw last year how he came on strong in the second half of the season so we’re working hard to give him the car in which he can deliver.