The Renault Sport F1 Team’s Jolyon Palmer did a great job in his first ever Formula One qualifying session as the Englishman out-qualified his more experienced team mate Kevin Magnussen.
The pair will start Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix from 14th and 15th place respectively. Renault Sport F1 Team’s Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane believes the team have to be aiming for points.
How was qualifying for the team?
We are reasonably happy especially as the session went very smoothly for us execution-wise. Both cars ran reliably and as we’re starting in the midfield tomorrow there’s every chance to score points. If we do achieve points on the team’s debut, especially after the tough winter we’ve had, it would be fantastic so that’s absolutely our aim.
How do you feel both drivers delivered?
Jolyon spent particular time in the simulator last week to prepare for this circuit as it’s a new one for him. He’s really enjoyed being out there and that’s showed; he’s done a great job so far, especially given that it’s his first GP weekend, a new circuit for him, and there are new qualifying rules. Kevin unfortunately was in a bit of dirty air from traffic on his Q2 lap but really, we were on scrubbed tyres and fighting each other.
What was the challenge of the new qualifying format?
We had to approach it with a completely different mentality compared to the old system and we spent a long time working out what was best to maximise our performance. We felt we were going to be on the Q1 cut-off so it worked out pretty well for us today.
What are the considerations for tomorrow’s race?
The weather should be similar to today, with less chance of rain but still cool and overcast. Everyone is likely to be racing on tyres one step softer than previous seasons so there is a good chance we’ll see more pit stops than in the last two years.