Palmer in determined mood at Hockenheim after Hungaroring agony

The Renault Sport Formula One Team goes into this Sunday’s German Grand Prix optimistic of a strong performance after its British driver Jolyon Palmer agonisingly missed out on a maiden F1 points finish in last weekend’s race in Hungary.
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Palmer had rocketed up the order from 17th on the grid to lay a comfortable tenth overall – the final points-paying position.

Deep into the race at the twisting Hungaroring, however, his R.S.16 car went into a half-spin and by the time he recovered he had dropped back to his eventual finishing position of 13th.

Notably the race marked the 110th anniversary of Renault Sport’s first GP win – held at Le Mans, France in 1906 – with its Type AK car driven by Hungarian Ferenc Szisz (see next month’s Newsletter for a more detailed article on this).

Meanwhile Palmer was understandably disappointed with the outcome, but all within the team go to the Hockenheim circuit – with its mixture of two long straights and a twisting infield ‘stadium’ section – hopeful of continuing the good form.

Palmer said: "I’m gutted as my first points in Formula 1 were there for the taking. The car was good and I was driving well within myself in P10. I turned in the same as normal at turn four – I wasn’t hanging everything out and I was looking after the tyres – but for some reason I lost the car in a massive snap.

“I need to look at everything with my engineers to see if there is anything we could have done to prevent it. I was running tenth, we had completed all our pit stops, we had good pace relative to those ahead and behind so it looks like we’ve made a real step forward this weekend.

“It was the best drive of my career today and just one small spin took away those points. I’m gutted today but I’ll be fighting to get in the same position or better in Hockenheim."

Danish team-mate Kevin Magnussen finished in 15th after losing places at the start, although he also stated his .R.S.16 felt better than before. “I certainly hope we can carry our improved pace into the rest of the season,” he added.

Team Principal Fred Vasseur commented: "That was a strong race for us and illustrates the progress being made. It’s no secret that our primary focus has moved to next year’s car but we still have good potential to score in 2016.

“Both drivers did a very good job, but Jolyon’s performance was particularly notable after missing most of Friday’s running. His spin was unfortunate, especially as his first Formula 1 points were there for the taking.

“Overall the team and both drivers have worked very well this weekend and made a great recovery from the back of the grid in a race where there was only one retirement. We hope to continue this trajectory in Hockenheim."

Like the rest of the F1 teams, the Renault squad has already arrived at Hockenheim from the Hungaroring in readiness for Friday’s two free practice sessions.

Renault-engined cars have won six times before at Hockenheim (the track first hosted a GP in 1970) – one of these, in 2005, coming with the team’s own car, the R25, with Fernando Alonso at the wheel.