Palmer blames "big tailwind" for Malaysia spin
Renault Formula 1 driver Jolyon Palmer says a tailwind caught him by surprise and caused him to spin at Turn 14 during the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Briton was running 12th, just over a second behind teammate Nico Hulkenberg, when he lost control of his RS17, dropping a position to McLaren's Fernando Alonso.
“I think I was quicker [than Hulkenberg],” Palmer told Motorsport.com. “Then I lost it, because I was too close to him in the end.
“We saw there was a big tailwind, which is affecting you in the tow, and you’re in the gust. I lost a lot of aero. I turned in pretty much the same as the other laps and suddenly I had no rear.
“I struggled with it [that corner] a lot in FP3 with oversteer, but then we changed the car and it was much better.
“It was good in qualifying and it was settled in the race. Then just one lap, it was very different to the other laps, it really caught me by surprise.”
On the next lap, Palmer spun again - this time at Turn 1, after getting caught out by race leader Max Verstappen pulling across, and made contact with Kevin Magnussen.
Palmer, who finished one lap down in 15th, admitted it was a mistake and was glad the stewards chose not to take any action.
“I had very hot rears from the spin and then spin-turning,” he said. “I had Verstappen lap me and then pull right in front so I had no aero and I was trying to limit the loss from the spin already.
“That was an annoying one, it was ambitious trying to keep Kev behind after I spun once. It was just a mistake, I lost a lot of downforce when I had Max literally right in front.
“I only touched him [Magnussen] when I spun. I’m pleased the stewards didn’t do anything.”
Palmer said points would have been tricky even without the spins, but he is hopeful Renault will be in contention to score in the upcoming races.
“Pace-wise, we’re there or thereabouts to be in the points all the time,” he said. “Without the spins, I would have been 11th so it’s close.
“I had a very messy FP3 with a brake failure and then the Verstappen incident at the end. That put me on the back foot for qualifying.
“In a normal weekend with the car hopefully in a slightly better place, without being on the back foot from a practice session and with a good start as well, then we should be in the points again.”
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