British Formula 1 driver Jolyon Palmer will start tomorrow’s Monaco Grand Prix from 18th on the grid.
Jolyon and the rest of the field had to contend with a disjointed Q1 that included two red flag periods, as both Felipe Nasr and Max Verstappen exited the session prematurely.
Nasr’s Sauber suffered with a blown engine in the early moments, which led to the first suspension of running, but Jolyon was quickly into his stride following the restart.
The 25-year-old ran as high as third after his opening flying lap, but quickly settled into the expected battle to keep his Renault Sport F1 R.S.16 out of the drop zone. The car has arguably looked less competitive this weekend than in recent weekends, and Jolyon’s inferior engine to that of his team-mate made his challenge all the more difficult.
Kevin Magnussen has been handed the all-new Renault engine for Monaco, whilst Jolyon will have to wait until Canada to receive the newly upgraded unit. Despite this, Palmer’s lap times have often been within touching distance of his stablemate around the famous 2.07-mile Monte Carlo circuit, and so it proved again in qualifying.
There was a further stoppage when Verstappen made an error and ended up firing his Red Bull into the Armco, which left a little over six minutes of green flag action remaining.
Jolyon’s best lap was around three tenths off that set by Magnussen, which proved to be a decent return. His team-mate set the 16th fastest time, with Jolyon two places further back, but Magnussen is also being investigated by the stewards after seemingly exiting the pitlane while the lights were red.
“To be honest I’m not too dissatisfied with what we’ve achieved,” said Palmer. “That’s where the car is and where we are as a team. Kevin has made the most of the new engine and was able to squeeze through to Q2. There’s always a little bit of time to find but generally my lap was OK. We’re a bit short of mileage over the weekend, which is my own fault, but we hope for better tomorrow.”
I’m not too dissatisfied with what we’ve achieved. That’s where the car is and where we are as a team. Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport Formula One Team Driver