Renault Sport Formula 1 Team driver Jolyon Palmer says the team have resolved all the problems experienced last year with the RS16, and their 2017 machine is a vast improvement.
The Brit now just wants to get the new season underway, so he can see where Renault stand in comparison to the rest of the field.
“I’m feeling good and I can’t wait to race the R.S.17 for a full Grand Prix.
“This new generation of car is really awesome to drive and we have a great opportunity to take a strong step forward during the season ahead.
“I enjoyed driving the car in pre-season testing as the team have addressed all the areas we needed to improve from the R.S.16, and when you add the improvements made to everything that comes with the new regulations it’s a good place to be.
“I’m happy and positive and can’t wait to race.”
In terms of the Albert Park circuit itself, last year was the first time Palmer had driven the Australian track, and it was perfectly suited to his style of driving. The Brit loves the challenge of a street circuit, and Melbourne has that in bucket loads.
“I drove it for the first time last year and I was a very happy man as it’s exactly my type of circuit.
“The track has a semi-street feel to it, and these cars are bigger and much faster; it will be tough, but I think it’s going to be an awesome first Grand Prix of the year.
“Albert Park is a pretty cool circuit, it’s a bit bumpy and it has a decent challenge to it.”
Palmer believes that Renault have really stepped up their game this season, and the RS17 is a machine they can really start to challenge with. The Brit also feels there will be plenty more performance to come as the year progresses, which makes him supremely confident about this seasons campaign.
“You can see all the improvements made in so many aspects. Last year’s car did the job, but this year’s is a real improvement in so many areas.
“It’s great to see so much work and growth going on back at Enstone when I visit and I know there’s a lot more to come.
“There’s a great feeling in the team with everyone working together in the same direction. We’ve all grown and developed a lot since we were last in Albert Park and I hope that will show well when we take to the track.”
Now with one season’s experience under his belt, Palmer is confident he will be able to score points consistently throughout the season. That is the Brit’s aim anyway, and he is looking forward to seeing how the car performs in the first round of the season this weekend.
The 26-year-old is hoping they can have a strong race, which will then set a precedent for the remainder of the season.
“It’s great to be going into my second season as a F1 driver as I can use all my experience from last season.
“I know the tracks and I know what is possible from a F1 car. I want to be fighting for points whenever possible and I know that’s the aim of the team too.
“I have a great crew around me and it’s good to have Nico on board as I think we will work well together over the year.
“It’s going to be really interesting for the first few races as we learn how our car goes in race conditions and see how competitive we are relative to our opposition.”