Palmer: F1 weekends "can't get worse" than Baku

Jolyon Palmer says Formula 1 weekends “can’t get worse” than his disastrous Azerbaijan Grand Prix outing, which ended in an early retirement with an engine issue.

Palmer: F1 weekends "can't get worse" than Baku
Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team
The car of Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
 Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17, passes Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber C36-Ferrari
Marshals assist Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17, after he clips the barriers
Jolyon Palmer, Renault F1 Team
Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
The crashed car of Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 is recovered in FP2

The Renault driver crashed in first practice and was forced to miss FP2, then did only a few laps in FP3 before a fuel leak and fire stopped him and caused him to miss qualifying.

He started 20th, and after experiencing a misfire on the way to the grid he had to stop after completing just seven laps.

"Obviously the pressure’s on, it’s not been a good start to the season," Palmer said. "When you miss a practice, you miss a qualifying, and you barely do the race, nothing I can do about it really. It can’t get worse than this.

“I only did about 30 laps in total over three days, probably the lowest I’ve ever done in a weekend. I had a good feeling in the car on Friday. Everything was feeling pretty reasonable.

"Even in the race, we had a misfire from the beginning, but it was feeling OK. I passed Wehrlein, I was catching a group ahead, and it was looking like a fun race.

“Then the misfire got worse, and I had to stop. We had it since the way to the grid. You cross your fingers that you can get to the end, but obviously we didn’t get very close to it.

“It’s a shame because I was feeling good in the car on Friday, and this is a race where if you drive around for 51 laps without any incident you’re probably going to end up in the points.”

Palmer conceded that Renault’s problems, which have also afflicted its other teams, reflect the company’s ongoing efforts to improve performance.

“I think everything’s marginal in F1, everyone’s pushing for performance, especially on the engine side, where we know we’ve got a bit of a deficit," he said. "I think the guys are pushing to make that up.

"This weekend it’s not gone our way at all. [Max] Verstappen had a problem as well – I don’t know what happened to [Daniil] Kvyat – it’s not strong, but you’ve got to make up the deficit in power as well.”

Asked if there were any positives from the Baku weekend, he replied: “My start was not so bad, I made a few places. 10 laps of reasonable positivity, but there were only 30 total, so there’s not a lot to say.

“Hopefully, and I’ve said this a few times this year, but I’m really confident and hopeful that this will be the end of our bad luck now, get to Austria, get some points, get some good results on the board.

“I know the track a bit better, I think it will suit our car a bit better. It’s just a fresh start, so I can go with a really positive Thursday vibe.”

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