Jolyon Palmer completed his final qualifying session for the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team with the fourteenth fastest time, although he will start eighteenth thanks to an unscheduled engine change and subsequent penalty.
Renault announced that Palmer would be leaving the team after this weekend’s race at the Suzuka International Racing Course to be replaced by Carlos Sainz Jr., and the Briton found himself eliminated at the second hurdle, and was once again out-qualified by team-mate Nico Hülkenberg, the sixteenth time in sixteen races the German has been faster in Qualifying.
Palmer was disappointed not to improve as much in Qualifying 2 that others did, which resulted in his elimination, and although starting near the back of the field, he is aiming to go out on a high on Sunday.
“Qualifying was okay, but the overall pace was a little disappointing for the team,” said Palmer. “The first run in Q2 went well and we were just out of the top ten, but on the second run, the car was sliding a bit and we couldn’t improve.
“The track was getting better so when you don’t improve, you fall down a long way. It’s a shame but we have to start at the back of the grid. I think we have more pace than the guys in front, so it can be a fun race.”