Palmer eager to recapture Melbourne form

Jolyon Palmer concedes Renault’s Chinese debrief “wasn’t pretty” given the lacklustre result but has vowed to return to fight back next weekend at Sochi.

After back-to-back P11s in Australia and Bahrain, Renault recorded a wretched weekend at the Shanghai International circuit.

Neither driver made it out of Q1 on Saturday afternoon and slumped P17 and P22 at the chequered flag on Sunday with Magnussen ahead of his British team-mate.

“It wasn’t pretty and we’re analysing to make sure we can learn every lesson possible from the weekend,” Palmer said.

“It was certainly a weekend where we struggled so we’re doing everything to understand why. We’ve made good progress and what we can achieve is certainly better than what we saw in Shanghai.

“From my perspective, I’m still learning what exactly I need from this car at different tracks, on different tyres and in different conditions.

“We’ve made some good progress dissecting and understanding and this should translate to improvement on track in due course.”

Palmer, though, is determined to bounce back at the Russian Grand Prix as he looks to recapture the form that put him P11 in Melbourne.

“My first aim is to get back to a Melbourne level of performance where I was happy with the car,” he said. “As a team too, we were happy with the level of performance as we were through to Q2 in qualifying and near the points in the race with both cars quite evenly matched.

“I haven’t been able to replicate that in the last couple of races so that’s what we’ve been focusing on. We know that Russia won’t necessarily be the very best circuit for us, but I’m focused on my own performance to extract the very most I can from behind the wheel.”

Having won the first-ever GP2 Series race at the Sochi circuit, a victory that secured him the championship title, the F1 rookie knows that it is a track where he can shine.

He added: “For me the best thing about Russia is that I won the first-ever GP2 Series race there and that race won me the championship so I have very good memories of the Sochi Autodrom!

“It was a very good race, I got a great start so led from the first lap and won but was under a lot of pressure all the way.

“It’s great to win any race, but to win a race where you’ve had pressure at every turn, that’s a real achievement. Because I won that race I won the championship so that’s why I have some very good memories of Sochi.”

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