After what was a frustrating 2017 Australian Grand Prix that saw him become the first driver of the new season to bring out the red flags when he spun his Renault at turn 16 at the Albert Park Circuit almost two weeks ago, Jolyon Palmer is aiming for more laps and a better vibe at this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix held at the Shanghai International Circuit.
Instead of regretting the Australian event, the British racer is happy that the French squad has found and hopefully fixed the gremlin that ruined his weekend so the aim is to get out on track come Friday, do as many ;laps as possible and hopefully secure a points paying finish come Sunday afternoon.
What’s the plan for China?
It’s a clean slate approach for me as Australia was a bit of a shocker. Fortunately the team were able to find the particular gremlin which affected me over the weekend so I’m heading to Shanghai as if it’s my first race of the season. Nico’s shown the race potential so let’s get out there and make points happen.
What do you need?
More time in the car is all that’s needed to lead to a much better weekend. It’s as simple as that. Albert Park was a really frustrating start to the season so I’m looking to get more laps on the board and more progress in the race. Obviously, there were many factors out of my hands in Australia, so the team’s checked over the car very carefully to ensure we don’t see a repeat of any of the same issues. From my side, I’ll be avoiding the walls very keenly too!
What are your thoughts of the Shanghai International Circuit?
It’s a track made up of a long first corner, some fast corners in the middle sector and then a super-long back straight. To put a perfect lap together is not easy as there are a lot of different sections. We’ve seen some good races there in the past, degradation has been historically high – especially on the front left because of the long right-hand corners – so it will be interesting to see how the latest rubber fares.
Are you looking forward to driving the R.S.17 around there?
We should really get a keen appreciation of the downforce. In the first corner we should be able to attack with a lot more speed – and the entry to it should be pretty fruity. The middle section should also put a smile on our faces. Every track we visit this year will be exploring new limits and China should be a great example of this.
Other than the racing, what else do you look forward to in Shanghai?
There are very passionate fans in China so I’m looking forward to returning and meeting them again.