Renault Sport F1 Team’s Jolyon Palmer did a great job in his very first Formula One qualifying session as the Englishman out-qualified his more experienced team mate Kevin Magnussen for Sunday’s season opening Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit.
Palmer will start the race from 14th place on the grid after setting a time of 1m 27.241s and speaking following the session he commented saying:
It was a pretty busy qualifying, obviously as it was the first one with the new system. It really built up and we were going quicker and quicker all the time so you had to make sure you kept your head above the water and not get knocked out. We’re happy to be in Q2; we didn’t really expect much more. I hadn’t done many laps in the dry here so I was trying to build up to it a little bit and then on the last lap, I knew I had to give it everything. It was enough to make Q2 so happy days!
Kevin Magnussen is taking part in his first Grand Prix since ironically last season’s Formula One opening Australian Grand Prix which is where the Dane achieved his best F1 race finish to date when he made his debut here for McLaren in 2014 as he finished the race on the podium in second place.
This year, Magnussen is with a new team having joined Renault late during the winter and the Dane will start his first race with the Enstone outfit in 15th place after setting a time of 1m 27.297s.
Speaking following qualifying, Magnussen stated:
We didn’t think we would be as strong as we were today, we hadn’t expected to get out of Q1 and actually we got both cars through. My lap wasn’t perfect, there was more to get out of the car so that is encouraging. It was frustrating that things didn’t go our way in Q2, we had traffic which meant we didn’t get a chance to set a better time, but qualifying is the same for everyone and at some point it will work out in our favour.