Despite sitting out morning practice to allow test driver Sergey Sirotkin to drive, Jolyon Palmer had a strong afternoon at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday, finishing eighth fastest for the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team.
The Briton completed a session-high forty-three laps in the RS17, and finished with a best time of 1:21.992s, just 0.305 seconds behind team-mate Nico Hulkenberg and 1.190 seconds behind pacesetter Lewis Hamilton.
Palmer knows there is work to be done to get some more speed into the car, especially as he had struggles to get the Medium compound tyre to balance as well as the Soft compound did, but he feels it is a positive start to the weekend, something he needs after a difficult beginning to 2017.
“It was good to get out in the car for the afternoon after sitting out in the morning,” said Palmer. “The car feels a lot better when using the Soft tyre as the balance on the Medium wasn’t too great.
“We had a productive session with a strong tally of trouble-free laps. I’ve got a few areas to work on with my engineers but overall it’s been a solid afternoon.”
Sirotkin drove the car in FP1 but for the second consecutive weekend found his running curtailed early due to car trouble. At the Sochi Autodrom he only managed two laps before stopping on track, while this weekend he managed ten before a water leak ended his day.
“It was a short run for me in FP1, but that’s motor sport and it’s better to have an issue with the car in practice than in qualifying or the race,” said Sirotkin. “At least this time I ran further than in Sochi!
“The car felt good and I was able to do what was required whilst I was out on track. Obviously, I’m hopeful that next time I get a clean session, but I know everyone in the garage is working hard to ensure this is the case.”