Renault’s Jolyon Palmer has responded to comments regarding his lackluster performance in 2017 – saying that it’s a combination of focus and tyre usage.
It’s hardly a pleasant occurrence to be called out in front of the Formula One world over your lack of performance. Alas, it’s just another “perk” that comes with the job. Renault’s Jolyon Palmer has had the exquisite pleasure of finding that out for himself during this last week, after Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul issued statements saying that getting Palmer into the points is his sole focus.
Now, Palmer has taken a moment to respond, saying that he believes his lack of a points-delivering race is due to a lack of focus as well as still struggling to understand how to best maximize the 2017 Pirelli tyres. Palmer admitted that he may have become too focused on what his teammate is doing, rather than what he is doing:
“Previously, maybe I have been guilty of being too distracted and overdriving at times. Nico is doing a really good job, he’s extremely quick, especially in qualifying.
I’ve just got to be happy with the job I’m doing, which is to get the most I can out of the car. It’s just focusing on what I’m doing and not always looking at the other side of the garage.”
– Jolyon Palmer
While Palmer proved he had the stones to own up to his lack of performance, the young Brit also conceded that despite contending with the tricky tires, he’s not exactly sure what else he can do to improve his performance:
“I don’t know. For me, my focus is to drive well and if I’m driving well, then I need a better set-up to get more out of the tyres.
Some places we’ve gone, there’s been more in the driving. For me, there have been little mistakes here and there,
But sometimes I’m happy with how I’m doing and there is still a gap there – so I don’t know.”
– Jolyon Palmer
Although Palmer may be in the dark, Abiteboul most certainly isn’t. And as the man helming the Renault project, we can rest assured that he will do all that it takes to ensure that both he and the team reap the benefits of their investment in Palmer.
One thing is peculiar, however. Typically, when a driver is unaware of what is causing issues in their performance, it lasts for only a brief period until the engineers can look over the data and sit down to analyze it with the driver nearby.
In Palmer’s case, however, there has been a significant lack of post-race analysis regarding his performance. While that is purely conjecture, there aren’t many possibilities left on the table to explain just why Palmer hasn’t been able to mount the type of attack on the midfield that his car is capable of.