Jolyon Palmer feels he is now able to show what he is capable of in Formula 1 on the back of an upturn in pace from the Renault team as he fights to retain a spot on the grid for the 2017 season.
GP2 champion in 2014, Palmer has endured a trying maiden season in F1 with Renault as the French manufacturer struggles to bring its RS16 package up to mid-field competitiveness, but is now off the mark following a tenth place finish in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Coming after Renault notched up its first points since Russia with Kevin Magnussen's tenth place finish in Singapore, Palmer feels the team has turned a corner in terms of performance and is pleased he can now demonstrate more of his true potential as a result.
“I think the fact that we've improved the car and are working the tyres better means that the car is probably more consistent to drive I'd say. Generally we are making less mistakes and we are able to extract more from it.
“You've got that point and you've also got the fact that we are now racing with the teams further up, so we can fight with McLarens, fight with Toro Rossos, fight with Haas, which is a better chance to show what we can do.”
Though Palmer is expected to be dropped by Renault at the end of the season in favour of Esteban Ocon and possibly Nico Hulkenberg, he nonetheless feels now is a good chance for him begin impressing with several others seats still up for grabs.
“I think there's a lot of pressure at the minute on both me and Kev [Magnussen] to do the job, and to have a point in Malaysia was massive. It's been good. The pressure is high but to be able to get good laps out and best performances of the year, it's a good time.”
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