Jolyon Palmer hopes the Singapore Grand Prix result opens the floodgates for points finishes as he bids to end his stint as a Renault Sport Formula 1 Team career on a high.
Carlos Sainz Jr will replace the British driver in the Enstone-based team in 2018, but he did his future ambitions no harm at all in Singapore, scoring his first points of the season and the best result of his Formula 1 career with a mistake-free sixth place.
Palmer has long been under pressure to perform this season, with rumours rife that he was to be replaced before the seasons end, but it now looks certain that the former GP2 Series champion will at least have six more races to score points and put himself into contention for any possible vacancy on the Formula 1 grid for next season.
“Honestly, I don’t feel any difference to the previous 14 races,” said Palmer to Autosport. “The pressure is on in F1. I always want to do well.
“Even at the start of the year I wanted to stay ahead, and I needed to do good results. I wish this result had come earlier, but it has been a tough year.
“This is 1/20th [of the season] still. I am still focused on each race as it comes, and with six races to go, whatever lies in the future, lies there. But I want to do the best in each race and leave the team with my head held high at the end of the year. Hopefully there are many more results like this.
“At Spa we should have had a good haul of points already, but there was the gearbox penalty and getting stuck in traffic. Then Monza, we started at the back and didn’t finish the race.
“But the performances those two weekends have been very competitive with what we have got. The car is only going to get better in the next few races, which gives me a lot of confidence.
“I got points in Malaysia last year, so this year I hope we can get some more.”