Southwater’s Jolyon Palmer scored his first Formula One world championship point in Sunday’s hot and fast-paced Malaysia Grand Prix.
The Renault Sport driver put his disappointment from the previous day’s qualifying behind him to deliver in emphatic fashion with a tenth-placed finish.
He started the race from 19th on the grid and thanks to a one-stop strategy, he started on new hard tyres before switching to a new set of soft tyres on lap 31.
Palmer said: “Point-scorer – that feels good! I’m really happy. I think the whole week has been really positive.
“The race was really smooth – I wish it was always so straightforward.
“I was really disappointed with how qualifying went, especially as I’d been feeling strong all weekend, so I’m glad the race went really well and we could make up for it today.
“The car gave me everything I needed, we handled the tyres well and the team did a great job with the strategy and pit-stops. We got a little bit of a break as well; finally everything came together and we got it home in P10.”
Having struggled to match Renault team-mate Kevin Magnussen’s pace in what Palmer called a ‘depressing’ qualifying, the Briton recorded his first Formula One point at the 16th attempt.
The point could be a huge boost to Palmer, who faces a well-documented uncertain future for Renault, who are yet to make their mind-up over their driver line-up for next season.
Fred Vasseur, team principal of Renault Sport Formula One team praised Palmer’s efforts.
He added: “Congratulations to Jolyon for scoring his first point in Formula One.
“After a disappointing qualifying yesterday, he got his head down and delivered a very good race. We ran to an aggressive strategy and Jo did everything required to make this work, so a great effort from him and the team.
“We saw once more that everyone in the team is pushing in the same direction, and we will continue to fight for every point possible in the remaining five races this season.”
Palmer’s team-mate Kevin Magnussen was unable to translate Saturday’s qualifying form into a race result as contact back and front on the first lap damaged a brake cooling drum fence.
His brakes subsequently became too hot, which meant retirement from the race was the only option.
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