Jolyon Palmer: “It’s actually a lot more enjoyable to drive”

Jolyon Palmer was happy with his first day in the RS17 - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Jolyon Palmer enjoyed his first proper taste of the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team RS17 on Tuesday as he took over testing duties from his new team-mate Nico Hülkenberg.

The British racer completed 53 laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya despite a delayed start as his team awaited the deliver of some parts, but once he got underway it was a pretty trouble-free day.

Palmer felt the new regulations in play this season have made the driving of the car a much more enjoyable experience, and he will remain in the car for the mornings running on Wednesday before he hands over to Hülkenberg for the afternoon session.

“I’ve really enjoyed driving the car today,” admitted Palmer. “The downforce is a massive change; it’s completely different from last year. It takes a little bit of getting used to but it’s actually a lot more enjoyable to drive.

“For today, we had a productive afternoon with 53 laps. It’s just a shame not to have ran this morning but we learnt a lot regardless and we aim to have a fuller day tomorrow.”

Remi Taffin, Renault’s Engine Technical Director, was happy with how the day unfolded despite the early delays, and is hopeful that the mileage continues to grow over the remaining test days at the Catalan circuit.

“We had a late start today but we were still able to complete set-up work on the chassis, gather data on the power unit side and give Jolyon a chance to evaluate the R.S.17,” said Taffin. “We completed just over 50 laps this afternoon and we were happy with how the car ran.

“Everything we’ve seen from the power unit perspective has been positive, and we’re looking forward to getting some bigger mileages under our belts in the coming days. We have a good amount of data from today and plenty of work to do overnight.”