Jolyon Palmer is hoping he can reach new heights in the second half of the Formula One season after conquering Mount Kilimanjaro in the summer break.
The Southwater driver is yet to score a point in this season and sits firmly at the bottom of the drivers’ table, something else he is looking to climb.
He has been comprehensively out qualified by team-mate Nico Hulkenberg and a story that keeps gathering momentum is Renault giving former Formula One driver, Robert Kubic, testing time.
Renault remain eighth in the Constructors’ Championship with 26 points, but have their sights on a maximum fifth-placed finish.
This weekend the Belgian Grand Prix marks the first of the nine remaining races this season and a refreshed Palmer is feeling confident after the break.
He said: “It was good to have a bit of chill out time and recharge a little bit. I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro which was very tough but also highly rewarding. It was nice to be cut off from the world for a week and see a change of scenery, but I’m ready to get back to work again.
“It’s been challenging, but there is definitely good potential from me and the car. The 2017 regulations mean a car that’s very different from before, so you have to relearn how to extract the maximum performance from it.
“Getting the right set-up is difficult and this is compounded when you miss out on track time for whatever reason. I’m looking forward and focusing on my own performance and I’m working hard to understand everything to ensure I have good races.”
Palmer only picked up his first point in the second half of last season with a tenth-placed finish in Malaysia.
And he has been close on a number of occasions this season, but is looking forward to racing on a track he knows well this weekend.
The Brit added: “I won a race in Spa back in 2008 in the Formula Palmer Audi series. I remember it was wet – which is fairly typical for Spa! I’ve been on the podium in GP2 there but missed the win in that class.
“I was on the front row in 2014 in GP2 and had a decent F1 qualifying last year. I’ve had some good memories but I’m driven to make some more.”