Spanish GP post race: Renault

Jolyon Palmer

Jolyon Palmer

Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team. Spanish Grand Prix, Saturday 14th May 2016. Barcelona, Spain.

Kevin Magnussen


Renault Sport Formula One finished a close-packed thirteenth and fourteenth in today’s Pirelli Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona- Catalunya. A different strategy was employed across the two cars, with Kevin Magnussen changing to a three-stop race and Jolyon Palmer running to two stops. Both drivers were right together for the final laps, with Palmer finishing just 2.7secs ahead of Magnussen.

Magnussen started the race in P15 on new soft Pirelli tyres, changing to a new set of medium on lap 10, a new set of hard tyres on lap 30 and a scrubbed set of soft tyres on lap 55. Palmer started the race in P17 on new soft tyres, changing to new medium tyres on lap 11 and new hard compound tyres on lap 33.

Kevin Magnussen: “We had decent pace on the soft tyre but on the hard and the medium – especially the medium – we were weak. It wasn’t a good day for me and I’ll be working closely with the team to understand why we weren’t able to deliver. I’m definitely looking forward to the test and getting some new bits on the car as today certainly wasn’t representative of what we’re capable of achieving.”

Jolyon Palmer: “I think that was probably the best race I’ve done in terms of pace and performance. The car was feeling okay, we were battling tyre degradation a bit but it was managable. It’s a bit disappointing not to finish in the points but for myself, I’m happy. More performance should be coming from the upgrades we have in store so I’m looking forward to Monaco.”

Fred Vasseur, Racing Director: “That was a tough race for us but both our drivers pushed hard, right until the chequered flag. Kevin struggled on the hard tyre so we switched strategy for him whereas Jolyon was able to make the most of a two-stop strategy and gave us his best performance to date.

“It was a great race for Formula 1 today. Congratulations to Max Verstappen on his first Grand Prix victory; it is good for the sport to see Red Bull back on the top step of the podium, especially in such an exciting manner.”

Jolyon Palmer

Jolyon Palmer

Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team. Spanish Grand Prix, Friday 13th May 2016. Barcelona, Spain.

Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16. Spanish Grand Prix, Sunday 17th May 2016. Barcelona, Spain.

Kevin Magnussen

Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 makes a pit stop. Spanish Grand Prix, Sunday 17th May 2016. Barcelona, Spain.

Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 makes a pit stop. Spanish Grand Prix, Sunday 17th May 2016. Barcelona, Spain.

Jolyon Palmer

Spanish GP qualifying: Renault



Renault Sport Formula One delivered a closely-matched qualifying result for the Pirelli Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with Kevin Magnussen setting the fifteenth fastest time, a 1min 24.625, two positions and just over two tenths ahead of Jolyon Palmer in P17 with a 1min 24.903secs.

Kevin Magnussen: “I think we got everything out of the car, and we did a good job as a team to maximise our potential. I think fifteenth is absolutely the best that we could do today. Looking at it like that, it’s been a good day but I’m certainly looking forward to improving over the coming races. For today, we have to be ready for any opportunities that present themselves. I’m aiming to stay out of trouble and gain all the positions available.”

Jolyon Palmer: “It was disappointing to be so close to getting into Q2 but just being pipped at the final moment. The car’s clearly improved and felt good, I felt happy with my lap from behind the wheel but we were not quite where we needed to be come the end of the session. There’s a little bit more time in the car; let’s try to make some places in the race.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “It was good to make it into Q2 and this shows that progress is being made. We have further significant upgrades to come for the test so yesterday was just another step in this process. Jolyon was very close to being in Q2 despite missing a lot of running Friday which was a strong effort and Kevin was able to deliver close to the car’s full potential so it was a good job from both sides of the garage yesterday.

“It will be a tough race for tyres as we see a lot of degradation here – certainly a lot more than seen at the last couple of races – which should mean a reasonable variety of tyre strategies. Obviously, we’ll be seeking to capitalise from this and move forwards a decent amount with both cars.”


Jolyon Palmer

Jolyon Palmer

Belgian GP practice: Lotus

Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado


Lotus F1 opened its Belgian Grand Prix weekend with a strong top ten time from Grosjean to underlie the team’s potential after an eventful and challenging first day back on track. Maldonado was one of three drivers to cause a red flag during the day, with an off in the second half of FP1. He returned to the track to end the day as fifteenth fastest. Jolyon Palmer completed evaluations of the team’s new front wing in the morning session.

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “Pastor’s FP1 was curtailed mid-session after an off and contact with the barriers damaged his car and caused a brief red flag period. He was evaluating a new top rear wing today. Jolyon conducted a front wing evaluation programme as well as other set-up work. The twice interrupted second session saw tyre evaluation and longer runs, with Pastor and Romain in action. Romain continued the front wing evaluation and his car stopped on track at the end of the session, requiring recovery back to the garage. Pirelli’s medium (white) compound tyre was used in the morning session, the medium and soft (yellow) in the afternoon.

Jolyon Palmer, E23-04
Free practice 1: P17, 1:53.799, 23 laps
“It was a productive session for me and it was good to get the first taste on track of the new front wing which felt pretty promising from where I was sat. It’s always difficult at Spa to find the best balance because it’s a compromise between having aero and having straight line speed with the nature of the track. We tried something different across the two cars and we had a new front wing to try as well, which was good to test.”

Romain Grosjean, E23-04
Free practice 2: P7, 1:50.489, 21 laps
“That was a good session for me. My first runs weren’t great and it was clear we had to make some changes to the car’s set-up. Once we did that the car felt a lot better and I felt that the car was a lot more how I wanted it with the soft tyres. We have a few other niggles to rectify but it’s lovely to drive Spa with wonderful warm weather. If we can find a little more pace from the car I think we can have a pretty good weekend here.”

Pastor Maldonado, E23-03
Free practice 1: P11, 1:52.539, 15 laps
Free practice 2: P15, 1:51.317, 16 laps
“Today wasn’t the start to the Grand Prix weekend that we wanted. I lost the rear end in FP1 and unfortunately I wasn’t able to keep the car off the barriers. My crew did a great job to get everything back together for FP2, but then there were a couple of red flags to interrupt that session too. I think we can have a good weekend from now, there’s good potential in the car and we know what we need for a strong result.”

Nick Chester, Technical Director: “This wasn’t the most straight-forward first day back on track for us after the summer shutdown. Pastor unfortunately had an off in FP1 in which his car sustained a reasonable amount of damage. The repair work continued into FP2 meaning his day was pretty compromised. On the other side of the garage, Jolyon completed a good tally of laps in the morning to assist with our assessment of our latest front wing, whilst Romain was able to continue with set-up work in the afternoon and made good progress and looked competitive finishing FP2 in P7.”


Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean

Barcelona tests: Day 2

Jolyon Palmer in the E23

Jolyon Palmer in the E23 (and below)


Jolyon Palmer had his first taste of the Lotus F1 E23 hybrid in his role as third and reserve driver. Over the course of 77 laps at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Jolyon ran through a programme of tyre and aero assessments, setting a best lap of 1min 26.280secs.

Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E23-02
Weather: Cold and sunny. Ambient 4°C – 17°C Track 7°C – 27°C
Programme: Tyre and aero assessments
Laps Completed: 77
Classification: P8, 1:26.280
Interruptions: Aero evaluation equipment fitting and removal. Fluid replenishment.

Jolyon Palmer: “Today went well. We racked up a lot of laps and I got a good feel for the car. It was very slippery first thing with the cold track, it was certainly very difficult with the hard tyres combined with the low temperatures! Through the day there was a good mix of conditions and set-ups to work with. There was a lot to take on board with the different settings for the car and the different programmes we were running, so it’s been a pretty steep learning curve. It’s been a very positive start for me and I hope my work has benefited the team. I loved being in the car and I can’t wait to get back out on track!”


Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 2 -  Barcelona, Spain
Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 2 -  Barcelona, Spain
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “Today was about data accumulation and Jolyon did a great job in his first time in the car, especially with particularly cold conditions to start the session here this morning. We’ve completed a number of aero runs with a variety of different data collection tools on the car as well as conducted a number of different tyre assessments to build a picture of what to expect from Pirelli’s latest tyres working on the E23. The car has run well again and overall we’re making good progress this week.”



Driver: Felipe Massa
Chassis/Engine: FW37-02/PU106B hybrid
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Objectives: Systems, set-up and tyre work
Weather: Warm and Dry
Air and track temps: 4 – 15ºC / 9 – 27ºC

Rod Nelson, Chief Test and Support Engineer: “It has been another productive day. Barcelona is a good representative circuit so the data we get here is very useful. We had a lot of work to do with Felipe which we covered. Our focus is moving from reliability and long runs to more performance based tests and I am pleased with how the car has run so far in Barcelona.”

Felipe Massa: “The car has a lot of potential and today we realised some of that but we still have a lot of work to do. We completed the programme for the day without any unexpected issues. The work on tyres this afternoon gave us a lot of good data which we now have to look at. Getting more laps in the FW37 is important for the continued development of the car.”


Sahara Force India made the most of the second day of testing in Barcelona, as Sergio Perez completed a total of 121 laps – the second highest tally in the field.

Sergio Perez #11
Chassis: VJM07-02
Laps: 121 laps
Mileage: 563 km
Fastest lap: 1:24.702
Classification: P4 of 10

Sergio Perez: “I am really happy with the way the day went and by the amount of laps we managed to complete. We worked on understanding the new tyres and I think we took a good step forward in that respect; of course, we are waiting for our ‘new baby’ to come and we’re really looking forward to put all the learning we did in the last two days into practice with the new car. On a personal level, these days have also been valuable to get to know my new race and performance engineers: we made good progress and I am looking forward to even more when working on the simulator this coming week.”

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 2 -  Barcelona, Spain
Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer “It was a very productive day with a solid 121 laps and no technical issues. Our main objectives of the day were for Sergio to get to know his new engineering team better, in addition to lots of set-up and procedural work. We continued the evaluation of the 2015 Pirelli tyres we started yesterday, working through performance running in the morning and long runs in the afternoon. The data we gathered today will be really useful not just for the first few races, but also for the final test next week. We are looking forward to continuing our testing programme over the final two days.”

A rather thoughtful looking Perez

A rather thoughtful looking Perez

Keep your eye on Lotus’ third driver



You may also have picked up on recent reports that Jolyon Palmer is the team’s third driver. He’s certainly a person to keep your eyes on.

As reigning GP2 Series champion, he’s the first British driver to win the title since Lewis Hamilton. He won the 2014 GP2 title in record-breaking fashion, with the greatest amount of points scored in a season (276) and the most consecutive points finishes (19).

Palmer will attend all Grands Prix and Formula 1 tests throughout 2015, including driving in a ‘significant number’ of Free Practice 1 sessions, as well as contributing to the car’s testing and development during the season. He will also fulfil the role of reserve driver.

The team’s two drivers, Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado, are also both former GP2 champions.

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