Palmer just outside the Formula One points again - by 0.5 seconds in Austria

Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17.
Austrian Grand Prix, Friday 7th July 2017. Spielberg, Austria.
Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17. Austrian Grand Prix, Friday 7th July 2017. Spielberg, Austria.
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Jolyon Palmer finished just half a second away from the points with his third 11th-placed finish of the season in the Austrian Grand Prix.

The pointless Formula One driver was once again agonisingly close to getting off the mark as he hounded Lance Stroll for most of the race but was unable to find a way past.

Renualt Sport team-mate Nico Hülkenberg dropped back from his 11th place start on the grid as his car’s anti-stall kicked in from the start and he fell to almost last place, but recovered to take 13th at the chequred flag.

Southwater driver Palmer, who started from 16th place, said: “It’s my third race with an 11th-place finish, once more within touching distance of points. I had Lance Stroll in my way for just over40 laps and couldn’t get past him, which is frustrating.

“I need to focus on qualifying better, but throughout the weekend the pace seemed improved so overall there are some positives. It’s my home race coming up, and Silverstone’s a great track with a lot of fast corners and it’s one I really like to drive, so hopefully that can be the one that gets me in the points.”

Valtteri Bottas dominated the race to take his second victory of the year ahead of Sebastian Vettel as Lewis Hamilton recovered to fourth.

Hamilton started eighth after a poor qualifying performance and a five-place grid penalty, and is 20 points behind Ferrari driver Vettel in the championship.

Cyril Abiteboul, managing director at Renualt Sport, said: “After Baku, the Austrian Grand Prix represents the second opportunity we missed to score points. Despite a generally good race, starting in P16 didn’t give Jo the opportunity to finish in the points. Again, we need to qualify better to score on Sundays.

“On a positive note, we see that our engine programme is heading in the right direction, allowing for a strong race pace and a new podium. We are turning the page and look forward to a quick turnaround to Silverstone.