Jolyon Palmer is yet to show the world of Formula One how fast a silver spoon can go. But the young Brit is hungrier than ever to get one over Kevin Magnussen in qualifying.
The 2014 GP2 champion has struggled to make any mark in his rookie year, but that’s mainly down to his machinery. The Renault works team have to be the most underwhelming team on the grid at the moment. Someone has to finish at the back, and with Sauber’s financial woes and Manor racing’s eternal chase of the pack, it’s usually them, but the yellow cars are only just up the road.
What’s been disappointing about the Renault works team is that they have two good drivers whose reputations are shrinking in stature race by race. Magnussen wasn’t so bad at McLaren that he deserved the chop, they just needed a scapegoat to sacrifice to the racing Gods for their own shite season.
Palmer won GP2 in 2014 and any fans of the lower Formula will be aware of the hardship and level of competition you can expect there. It has left Palmer in a position where he can only judge his improvement and abilities against his own team-mate.
The Dane has the upper-hand in qualifying so far, and Palmer wants to rectify this. He said,
“Obviously he’s got a bit more experience than me and he’s had a few of seasons working with a top team so he’s a good yardstick.
It’s true he’s been just ahead of me in qualifying at many races but when you look at the actual lap times it’s so very close, we’re talking just a tenth or hundredths. Somehow it falls just so very slightly on Kev’s side.
The races are often just as close and we’re often fighting for the same piece of track. This shows that we’re both generally getting the most out of the car for any given circumstance so this is beneficial for the team.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to be the one who’s a tenth or so quicker in qualifying; maybe we can make that happen in Budapest.”
– Jolyon Palmer
Palmer needs to start beating Magnussen often if he wants his stock to rise, but in the first half of this season, it’s fair to say that the Dane has done the more solid job.