British ace Jolyon Palmer believes Renault can beat Haas F1 in the second half of the season as the French manufacturer continues to improve the car.
Since their return to Formula 1, Renault have only amassed six points in the first ten races courtesy of Kevin Magnussen at the Russian Grand Prix. Palmer has yet to score a point this season, leaving Renault 22 points behind Haas F1 and seating in ninth place.
The former GP2 champion believes the team can catch Haas in the second half of the season whilst developing for the new regulations arriving in 2017.
“I think the ones we need to catch first are Haas,” said the Briton. “They’re the ones just making Q2 and we’re just behind them.
“If we can catch Haas, then that’s Q2, hopefully we’ve got more upgrades than they have for the rest of the year and we can do that. Then maybe Toro Rosso are falling away a bit from the group in front, they’ve got the old engine as well, so maybe we have a chance to catch them.
“The tracks [in the second half of the year] can hopefully suit us a little bit better, I’m improving all the time as a driver, so I hope for some points. It would be nice to have some more meaningful battles on track, because a lot of the time we’re fighting a Manor or a Sauber, and no-one sees that.”
After a disappointing season, Palmer’s Formula One seat is under scrutiny with speculation that Esteban Ocon could be vying for his seat. The British driver was questioned on his F1 seat:
“I feel fine, I think I drove better at Silverstone than the rest of the year, keeping the upward trend. I think the team can see that as well,” he said. “At the end of the day I just have to try and do my best, show what I can do and get the most from the car. The whole team is focused on improving the current situation.”