Renault can enjoy stronger 2017 F1 season, says Jolyon Palmer
Jolyon Palmer confident "we can actually do something" in the new season after troubled first year back in team ownership
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 08/02/17 2:59pm
Renault are better placed to enjoy a more competitive 2017 Formula 1 season, according to Jolyon Palmer.
The French manufacturer endured a difficult return to team ownership last year with a lack of investment in the Enstone outfit by previous owners Genii Capital leaving Renault playing catch up.
Despite the winter departure of team boss Frederic Vasseur after just one season in the role, Palmer has told Sky Sports News HQ "the team's in a very healthy place" as they prepare for winter testing with the new RS17 at the end of the month.
"Fred left, which was a shame, but we've still got Cyril [Abiteboul], Jerome Stroll as well, so these guys have run Formula 1 teams and been very senior in Renault," said Palmer. "So we're still in very good hands and in a way things are maybe a little bit simpler now.
"The feeling in the team is this is a year where we can actually do something. Last year we had our hands tied a little bit from the problems with Lotus, this year it's a proper Renault stamp on everything.
"We've still got some great people in the team, people who have won races and even won championships with Renault before, so everyone is super excited to get going and see if we can get back towards that."
With Renault scoring just three points finishes and finishing ninth in the constructors' standings in 2016, Palmer admits his rookie campaign was "harder than I could have imagined" after finally landing his full-time F1 break.
But a stronger end to the campaign, when he outperformed team-mate Kevin Magnussen, has set Palmer up for what he is hopeful will be a competitive season.
"I'm with a manufacturer team, a team that I believe is going places, and even if I didn't show last year I'm sure that the results will come," he added.
"I'm in a much better position stood here now and I'm looking forward to 2017."