Jolyon Palmer knew that it was going to be tough during qualifying at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on Saturday, and so it proved to be when the Briton qualified twentieth on the grid for the Italian Grand Prix.
The Renault Sport F1 driver went into the session expecting to be off the pace, but hopes the race pace is better for the team on Sunday.
“We knew it was going to be pretty challenging here and so it was proved to be,” said Palmer. “On the positive side, I had a nice race simulation yesterday and the car does feel well balanced so better things should be possible on Sunday.
“I’ll be hoping for a bit of spice in the race to help us on our way!”
Team-mate Kevin Magnussen will start just behind the Briton in twenty-first, and the Dane admitted that it would have taken a ‘really fantastic’ lap to make it through to Q2, something that was not forthcoming despite attempting to get a tow from Lewis Hamilton.
“We expected both Belgian and Italian qualifying to be tough and whilst we qualified better than expected in Spa we didn’t achieve that today in Monza,” admitted Magnussen.
“I hoped that with a really, really fantastic lap, we might just have a shot at Q2. I gave everything I had on the first run, I then tried to get a tow from Lewis on the second one but it didn’t work.
“For the third run, I just tried really to give it everything but I went off. We’re always aiming higher and I really went for it this afternoon.”