Jolyon Palmer: “Today the car has been really good”

The Renault Sport F1 team drivers have struggled with the balance of the RS16 for most of this weekend, but despite finishing all sessions so far in eighteenth place, Jolyon Palmer is still upbeat ahead of the 2016 Russian Grand Prix.

“Today the car has been really good,” said Palmer.  “I think we’ve found the problem that’s been hurting me the last couple of Grands Prix. We’ve changed something and it’s working well so it’s good to be back on track!

“I’m pleased because I can now demonstrate what I can do as a driver whereas before it was frustrating. We’re not super quick as a team but I’m happy with the car and I think we can look forward to a good race tomorrow.

“Our race pace tends to be better than in qualifying; we should be able to move forward quite quickly, we’ll definitely aim to challenge the guys in front of us and take any opportunity on offer.”

Team-mate Kevin Magnussen, is also in a positive mood going into tomorrow’s race at the Sochi Autodrom, the Dane confident the team will be able to find more performance on Sunday.

“It wasn’t a brilliant qualifying lap from me and we struggled to get the tyres into their correct operating window, so not a perfect set-up for the car either,” said Magnussen. 

“FP3 earlier in the day was much better for us as we were able to get a more even balance with the front and rear tyres working well together, however qualifying proved to be more of a challenge. There was more possible from the car if we’d been able to find that sweet spot.”

Despite their finishing positions during qualifying both Renault Sport drivers appear to be happier with their cars this weekend. The French squad would clearly have hoped to have finished higher up the grid, and will push for better results on race day.