Jolyon Palmer worked hard last week in Barcelona, accumulating 155 laps behind the wheel of a greatly improved RS17 chassis.
The Brit noticed a big step up in the handling of Renault’s 2017 challenger built to the new regulations, compared to last year’s car with which he did his maiden F1 season.
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“Ride quality is where we were weak last year,” Palmer explained.
“We’ve made a big step this year, we’ve got much better tools to deal with that now.
“It’s something we learnt from last year, and we learnt the hard way. Clearly, we’ve made good progress, and even just the balance of the car is very consistent, it’s very driveable.
“Every time I get in it, I know what to expect. It’s a good feeling at the moment.”
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Slowly but surely, Renault appears to be ramping up its performance as its progresses on the path to restoring its former glory.
“Last year, we knew it was going to be tough,” added Palmer.
“This year, we’re excited about the prospect of having a car we’ve designed properly around the engine. We’ve had a good amount of time as well, because last year we were so compromised.
“There’s been some restructure over the winter,” as he refered to the departure of former team boss Fred Vasseur.
“I think everyone in the team really knows their role, we’re very happy with how everyone’s performing. The structure’s working well at the moment and we’re excited.”