Palmer finished 11 in last Sunday’s Austrian GP – just half a second off tenth which would have earned him his first point of the season.
Heading to Silverstone he has reason to be optimistic about his chances for the race heralds the first of a number of chassis upgrades to both his and team-mate Nico Hülkenberg’s R.S.17 machines – designed and assembled at the squad’s UK headquarters at nearby Enstone, just over the border in Oxfordshire.
Hülkenberg will also be hoping Silverstone marks a return to the points – all four of the team’s top-ten results in the nine races so far have been achieved by the German, his best a sixth in Spain.
His results mean that Renault is currently placed eighth in the F1 Constructors’ standings with 18 points. Pre-season it had targeted fifth – a position currently occupied by Williams on 40.
Reflecting on his race in Austria, Palmer commented: “We started in P16 and finished 11th – it’s my third race with an 11th place finish, once more within touching distance of points! I had Lance Stroll in my way for just over 40 laps and couldn’t get past him, which is frustrating.
“I need to focus on qualifying better, but throughout the weekend the pace seemed improved so overall there are some positives. It’s my home race coming up and Silverstone’s a great track with a lot of fast corners and it’s one I really like to drive, so hopefully that can be the one that gets me in the points.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director said in the run-up to Silverstone the team would analyse all aspects of performance in Austria to improve its chances of being back in the points. Indeed in Austria Hülkenberg had qualified 11th fastest but his race was severely hampered at the start with by an anti-stall issue.
But added Abiteboul: “On a positive note, we see that our engine programme is heading in the right direction, allowing for a strong race pace. We are turning the page and look forward to a quick turn-around to Silverstone.
“The British Grand Prix marks the beginning of a sequence of strong chassis developments. We continue to work hard to reach our targets.”
Fans wanting to watch the British GP on TV can do so on both Channel 4 and Sky Sports – both channels will be broadcasting live coverage of Saturday’s qualifying session and Sunday’s race.
Silverstone marks the half-way point of F1’s 20-race 2017 calendar. From Silverstone the Renault team will then head to Budapest for the Hungarian GP on 30 July which precedes a month’s break before the Belgian GP in late August.