Jolyon Palmer is ready to build on the pace shown at the European Grand Prix with a strong performance in Austria next weekend (1-3 July), around a circuit that he contends ‘should suit our car a lot better’.
Both Renault Sport Formula One Team R.S.16s struggled in qualifying in Baku, but Jolyon gained nine positions before the pit-stops began and posted the eighth-quickest lap of the race around the all-new street circuit through the centre of the Azerbaijani capital.
“Actually I feel very positive about the overall Baku weekend,” the young British F1 rookie reflected, “even if I don’t have a lot to show for it! The yellow flags in qualifying cost us a lot and then I made some mistakes in the race.
“The crux of my problems came in Turn One; I got a good start, but then locked up and flat-spotted the tyres under braking for the corner. This meant I had to make another pit-stop, without which I think we could have been a bit higher up and ahead of both Haas cars, but on the whole the car was ok and we are making progress.”
The F1 circus next moves on to Austria’s high-speed Red Bull Ring, and Jolyon is clearly hopeful of a more competitive weekend than was the case in Baku.
“I’m looking forward to getting back into the European heartland and we should be more on it in Austria, which is a faster circuit and should suit our car a lot better,” mused the 25-year-old Southwater racer and former GP2 Series Champion.
“The Red Bull Ring is quite a simple track, with just seven corners. Putting a good lap together is very important, as the times are very close and any mistake can really hurt. I like that, though, as the driver can make more of a difference.
“There are some bumpy zones and some overtaking possibilities, such as Turns One and Two. There are some fast corners as well, including the second-last corner that is pretty quick. Then the last corner has a bit of camber and you need to carry the speed through. I raced there in 2014 in GP2 and I drove in FP1 last year. It’s a lot more fun in an F1 car, as we can be flat-out the whole race.”
I’m looking forward to getting back into the European heartland and we should be more on it in Austria, which is a faster circuit and should suit our car a lot better Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport Formula One Team Driver