Jolyon Palmer: Renault ‘definitely behind Mercedes on power’

Jolyon Palmer has admitted there are differences between the Mercedes and Renault power units after experiencing both over the past twelve months.

As test driver for the Lotus F1 Team in 2015, the 2014 GP2 Series champion experienced Mercedes power, and now as part of the Renault Sport Formula 1 works team, he has experienced the Renault power unit.

Palmer feels Renault is still behind Mercedes when it comes to power, but feels the driveability of the 2016 engine is good.

“There’s a difference,” said Palmer. “It’s not as powerful as the Mercedes engine, you can feel that.

“There are obvious benefits in that the driveability is good. The Renault engine guys have been working really well. We’ve been working with them over the winter.

“They’ve a good handle on procedures, and as I say the driveability of the engine, but at the moment they are definitely behind Mercedes on power.”

Palmer completed only 79 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya during the first test due to software issues on day one and a turbo failure on day two, whereas team-mate Kevin Magnussen completed 264 laps when he took over for days three and four, including a mammoth 153 laps on the final day.

“If we’ve problems they’re easier to fix because we’ve the support of Renault now,” said Palmer.  “We’re not so cash-strapped and looking for alternative solutions. We’ve a strong company behind us to push.”