Jolyon Palmer finished just outside the points but put in his best race display since the opening day of the Formula One season for 12th place in the Austrian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes’ of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton clashed on the final lap, and in what could have been a double retirement for the championship leaders on another day might have rewarded Palmer with his first points. However, Hamilton returned to the track to take the win while Rosberg finished fourth.
Palmer crossed the line shortly afterwards, completing one of the most encouraging performances of the season so far – the perfect way to head into a maiden home grand prix weekend at Silverstone in a week’s time.
The Southwater driver said: “I’m quite happy with the race. With just that little bit of extra luck and we could have been right there within the points.
“I’ve been feeling stronger and stronger over the last few races and knowing we could have done well today makes me hopeful for points at the next round at Silverstone.”
Palmer made a stellar getaway, into the mix in an instant as he fired off the line from 20th place and squeezed his Renault between the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson and team-mate Kevin Magnussen.
Both Renaults enjoyed a competitive opening stint on Pirelli super-soft rubber, running in formation – Palmer hounding his stablemate right the way up to the first pit-stops, with the Briton placed as high as eighth.
A mid-race safety car following Sebastian Vettel’s high-speed tyre blowout threw a spanner in the works for both Renaults – unable to take advantage of the safety car period to pit, having only donned the harder compound tyre 10 laps prior, before the late last-lap drama.
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