The Renault Sport F1 Team did a great job during the season opening Australian Grand Prix in Albert Park and were unfortunate to miss out on a points scoring finish for Jolyon Palmer who on his Formula One debut drove like a guy who has been racing in F1 for years showing great maturity coming home in 11th place.
Speaking following the race, the Englishman commented by saying:
I think the team has done an incredible job this weekend to qualify in Q2 and then finishing the race in eleventh and twelfth; it’s the maximum we could expect to achieve. It’s a good start, we were so close to scoring points, and we can move forward from here. The race itself was busy but good fun; I absolutely loved being wheel to wheel again after a year out of racing. It was great to be back in the fray and it all went pretty smoothly for me. Happy days.
Palmer’s team mate Kevin Magnussen who started the race from 14th place ended the event in 12th just behind the Englishman and speaking following the race, the Dane stated:
We have a really good car; the pace is strong, as is the baseline set-up. It’s something we can continue to work from and evolve to gain more performance. Today was pretty tough at the start as I was really gutted about the puncture. I don’t think I had any contact so it was really unfortunate. You never want to see a red flag incident, and it’s a positive statement that Fernando could walk away from that dramatic crash, but the restart did benefit us. Our pace after the restart was very promising so I’m excited for the next races.
Renault Sport F1 Team’s Racing Director Fred Vasseur commented on the race weekend by saying:
Today was very encouraging for the team as we showed good race pace and a good base to build on. We need to take a look at our qualifying pace to get us further up the grid and hopefully start to get some good results as it would have been much better to score points today! Both Kevin and Jolyon did a very good job, it was a shame to have Kevin suffer from a puncture but the rest of the afternoon went well, especially for a first race.
Chief Technical Officer with the Renault Sport F1 Team Bob Bell commented on the result of the race for the Enstone outfit by saying:
It was a very credible first race from the team with everyone gelling and performing at a high standard. We had a trouble-free weekend, made the most out of the new qualifying format then the race was managed well with the only upset being Kevin’s puncture. Both drivers drove well and the car even looked a little racier than expected. We didn’t score points today but we weren’t far off. That’s definitely the next target.