Jolyon Palmer says that the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team gave his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg a better chance of a higher finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix by compromising his own race on Sunday.
Much has, and continues, to be made over Palmer’s performance this season, especially in comparison to his team-mate Hulkenberg. The German has out-qualified the Brit in every race so far, and has finished higher than Palmer in all the races he’s completed.
Whilst Palmer has arguably suffered from more bad luck – including a retirement on the warm-up lap of his home Grand Prix at Silverstone – it seems the hindrance at the Hungaroring was far more deliberate.
“As well as letting him through, my strategy was compromised today to try and help Nico’s race, and that meant [Kevin] Magnussen and [Daniil] Kvyat jumped me,” said Palmer. “It was a frustrating run to the flag with much more pace, but no chance to overtake them on this track.”
Whilst car and technical issues seemed to be kept at bay for the race, Palmer was still able to find bad luck. Turn two saw a collision between Red Bull Racing drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo which culminated in Ricciardo spinning in the middle of the track on the exit of turn three.
Palmer was one of the first on the scene and, with Ricciardo facing sideways on the track, Palmer had to take swift evasive action – diving off the circuit to avoid what could have been a nasty incident, and whilst he was able to continue, he lost places on the notoriously difficult to overtake on track.
“The start was okay, but I lost out when I had to avoid Ricciardo, who suddenly slowed and that dropped me out of the top ten,” said Palmer.
This Hungarian Grand Prix was the last race before the summer break – a welcome chance for Palmer to take stock and relieve some of the pressure that’s been heaped on him this season.
“Now I’m looking forward to summer break and switching off from racing to reset for Belgium,” said the Briton.