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Vasseur exit won’t stall Renault – Palmer

Jolyon Palmer says Renault feels 'we can actually do something' in 2017 after a promising winter despite the shock exit of Fred Vasseur.
Jolyon Palmer says Renault feels 'we can actually do something' in 2017 having had a promising winter period compared to 12 months ago and doesn't fear the team will struggle without former team principal Fred Vasseur.

The British driver says his team 'had its hands tied' transitioning between its former guise as Lotus and Renault's takeover last year which seriously hampered it's preparations for 2016.

Palmer is confident Renault can make significant progress in 2017 despite the shock departure of team boss Vasseur who left after just one year in the fold.

"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," Palmer told Sky Sports News. "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."

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In 2016 Renault secured just eight points all season to finish ninth in the F1 world constructors' championship in its first year back as a factory effort.

Palmer also endured a difficult rookie campaign in F1 with a solitary 10th place his best result but is determined to learn from that experience to build towards a stronger 2017.

"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 said. "I'm in a much better position stood here now and I'm looking forward to 2017."

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Palmer is joined by ex-Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg at Renault in 2017 and is the only other British driver on the F1 grid alongside Lewis Hamilton after Jenson Button opted for a year sabbatical away from the sport.



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Oli

February 09, 2017 4:02 PM

Big year for JP. He was unconvincing at best last year but it was hard to measure both him and Magnussen as the car was so bad. This year he has Nico, a proven racer but still a guy without a podium to his name. If JP wants be in F1 in 2018, I think he needs to match or beat Hulkenberg. Anything less than that and he'll be on the Formula E or sportscar scrap heap next season.



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