Heading to the 2017 Italian Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Renault Sport Formula 1 Team‘s Jolyon Palmer is looking to move on from the disappointment of last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.
The Brit nearly out-qualified his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg on Saturday, but a gearbox issue put him out of the running in Q3. He then received a penalty that meant he started in fourteenth, and throughout the race he remained fighting in the midfield.
“It was a positive weekend with the car again looking competitive,” he commented. “If I had started seventh then I would have been in a position to score points, but down in fourteenth on the grid was hard.
“It’s positive, though, and I’m happy with the first race back, it would have been nice to get points but it has been a better weekend than in previous weeks. We need the same again in the next few races; it will happen, I just need to shake off the bad luck. Things are looking much better.
Similarly to many other drivers, Palmer looks forward to Monza, one of the fastest and most well-loved tracks on the calendar.
“It’s a very special track, and one I absolutely love. It’s one of those races which carries so much history, especially when you think of all the great races and all the great drivers who have won there. The crowd carry so much passion – you can hear the fans when you drive round. The track itself is very old school and enjoyable to drive.
The crowd carry so much passion – you can hear the fans when you drive round. The track itself is very old school and enjoyable to drive. We take off a lot of downforce so parts are flat out and there can be a lot of overtaking.”
Many teams run their lowest downforce set-up for Monza to optimise their speed around the demanding circuit.
“Monza has some long, fast straights so naturally, you need good straight-line speed and then stability under braking. Combined with the speedy straights there are some very slow corners so you need to balance out the low downforce with the need to be late and hard on the brakes. It’s all about finding a good top speed, with the optimum downforce level for the chicanes.”