During Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix, the Renault team were surprised to find that British driver Jolyon Palmer had finally got to grips with the Renault and displayed a massive improvement in form. “He was like a different guy,” Alan Permane said “It was very good. It was undoubtedly his best weekend of the year. He’s gone from being five or six tenths behind Nico to three or four tenths in front of him, Up until the race, where Nico [Hulkenberg] was back on top of things.”
Unfortunately, Lady Luck deserted Palmer’s side once again as he was struck with a 5-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox. So, by the time 44 laps had finished, Jo was agonisingly close yet so far from his first points finish of the season. Permane hopes that the non points finish will not dent the Briton’s confidence, but will instead motivate him to carry on the momentum into Monza and beyond.
“It was just a case of being stuck in traffic for much of the race,” Palmer explained afterwards. “I had some good fights though. They were fun. But it’s a shame not to have anything to show for it. If I had started seventh then I would have been in a position to score points, but down in fourteenth on the grid was hard. It’s positive, though, and I’m happy with the first race back [after the summer break]. It would have been nice to get points but it has been a better weekend than in previous weeks. We need the same again in the next few races, It will happen, I just need to shake off the bad luck. Things are looking much better.”
Palmer is also aware that he needs to improve his race craft and achieve the results to impress the team because his seat is under threat from the likes of Nicholas Latifi and Robert Kubica. “I’ve had this pressure for a year and a half and it’s always the same,” Palmer told Autosport, insisting: “I’m not bothered. I’ll do the same for Monza. Turn up, try and get a great result and not even focus on Singapore, the future, the past or anything.”