Renault is committed to helping Jolyon Palmer
recover from his disappointing start to the 2017 Formula 1 season, says
its managing director Cyril Abiteboul.
Nico Hulkenberg has made a big impact on
joining the team for this season, scoring all of the French
manufacturer’s 14 points with ninth, eighth and sixth places in the last
In contrast, Palmer has finished 13th, retired and finished 15th in the same events.
On Friday at Barcelona, Palmer described the opening practice day as
his best of the 2017 season, but the Briton was at a loss to explain why
his pace evaporated over the next two days.
When asked if he had an explanation for Palmer’s struggles, Abiteboul told Motorsport.com: “No.
“I think during the weekend, he had on occasion glimpses of a good
performing package overall – a combination of the car, the set-up, the
balance and himself driving – we could see that and again in particular
“But I think it’s in general on Saturday, that’s the issue, we put
the car on the Tarmac, it immediately works and some of the times you
put it on the Tarmac and it doesn’t work and you have not changed a lot.
“On Saturday, he was not happy in the morning. Going into qualifying
it was not better and on Sunday it didn’t improve. We have to look into
that – we are committed to make this work.
“But you know – that’s five races into the season, so we also have
more statistics to understand what is working and what is not working.”
Abiteboul backed Palmer to bounce back, as he did last season when he was much stronger in the second part of the year.
“[Last year] he had a slow start but a better finish,” said
Abiteboul. “He can turn it around – that is what we believe and what we
are working towards.”
Palmer vowed to go away and try to understand where he needs to improve ahead of the next race at Monaco.
“I wasn’t able to get the pace out of the car when it was needed,
however we were going better on the final set of tyres,” he said.
“My job now is to sit down with my engineers and analyse the race
while we also have a good look at the car too. I’m determined that we
will do better in Monaco.”