SHARE

I’m as curious as anyone else as to what seems to be the issue with Jolyon Palmer and his difficult season when juxtaposed with Nico Hulkenberg who has scored all the team’s points so far in 2017.

In F1, your teammate is the first measuring stick and Palmer has not been competitive with Hulkenberg in terms of results. He’s struggled to get on top of the car’s balance and performance windows and there is not doubt it has to be difficult to do but in the end, his teammate manages it as do all the other drivers in challenging cars. Team boss, Cyril Abiteboul, says they are working on it,

“But I think it’s in general on Saturday, that’s the issue, we put the car on 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.”

Time and results could turn this around but it’s been two seasons of slow starts and difficult results for Palmer and one wonders when that patience and commitment might run out from Renault. As Renault progresses forward, the team will increasingly become a works team that other drivers will be keen to drive for and if I were Renault, I would look at luring Fernando Alonso or even Sergio Perez to the team should Palmer fail to clear the hurdle before him and start producing point-paying results like his teammate is.

Hat Tip: Autosport

SHARE
An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Max Johnson

    Alonso is the cure.

    • jakobusvdl

      Alonso will be in Indy next year, it’s his best chance of a championship.
      So Renault either need to get Palmer performing, bring in a good newbie, or pick up one of the current drivers who, like Hulkenberg, deserve a chance in a top team – there are lots of great options, Sainz, Ocon, Wehrlein, Perez, Etc, etc

  • Robert

    Last year the cars were too “easy” to drive, so mediocre drivers such as Palmer could still keep up. The 2017 cars require true talents, and some are just not good enough to adjust. Palmer (and also Vandoorne) seem to be among such drivers. It’s not a GP2 car anymore.

  • jakobusvdl

    You’d hope that this is how all the teams would operate with their drivers, and any other members of the team. If they see potential in the person, put resource and effort into helping that team member realise that potential.
    I’m assuming that they do see real potential in Palmer, so I’d imagine that in terms of ‘bang for buck’ getting Palmer to drive to his potential, would probably pay for itself in savings in front wings and under trays, and if he were to get up to Hulkenberg pace, the extra points could be worth millions.
    On the other hand, if they don’t think he’s got the potential, move him on now and give someone else a go!

  • Salvu Borg

    I never imagined that Palmer would be-up there with the HULK, in fact before the HULK got his backside firmly in that seat I could see this disparity.

    • jakobusvdl

      Certainly Palmer didn’t shine in his first F1 year, and it was a surprise that he got a second season in F1 with Renault. But, the people running Renault F1 are very smart, and have a lot more insight into how Palmer is performing, in the races, simulator, and feedback to the team, so I assume they believe that there is potential worth pursuing.
      Its fair to say that he’s keeping it hidden from the rest of the world.