After a year away from racing as the reserve driver for the Lotus F1 Team, Jolyon Palmer was happy to be back driving competitively and finished eleventh on his Formula 1 debut around the Albert Park circuit on Sunday.
The 2014 GP2 Series champion was running inside the top ten during the early stages in Australia for the returning Renault Sport Formula 1 team, but felt a top ten finish was never going to be a realistic target.
After finishing only seven seconds behind Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen in that last points-paying position, Palmer knows the team can now build on this performance throughout the 2016 season.
“I think the team has done an incredible job this weekend to qualify in Q2 and then finishing the race in eleventh and twelfth; it’s the maximum we could expect to achieve,” said Palmer.
“It’s a good start, we were so close to scoring points, and we can move forward from here. The race itself was busy but good fun; I absolutely loved being wheel to wheel again after a year out of racing.
“It was great to be back in the fray and it all went pretty smoothly for me. Happy days.”