Jolyon Palmer endured an early exit from the Monaco Grand Prix as an accident in treacherous conditions ended his contest.
The volume of water pouring down on to the streets of the principality on Sunday morning meant that FIA Formula One race director Charlie Whiting had no choice but to start the race behind the safety car.
The spray began to settle a little after seven laps and the lights on the safety car went out and the race proper was under way.
With conditions still tricky over the start/finish line, well beyond the acceleration zone on the exit of Anthony Noghes, there was nothing Palmer could do as his Renault Sport F1 R.S.16 immediately lost traction over a zebra crossing – the painted stripes slick, sending the Renault skewing into the barriers.
Both the Southwater driver and his team-mate Kevin Magnussen had experienced contact with the barriers during practice, with the latter having another two accidents of his own during the race.
Magnussen was able to continue initially, but he lost control of the Renault again around the mid-distance stage and he eventually limped back to the pits and into retirement. Palmer said: “The traction was appalling after the safety car and I got caught out.
“I had wheelspin in fifth gear on the white line that crosses the track. There was nothing I could do – I was just a passenger and went straight away into the wall.
“It’s so difficult as we know that the white lines are slippery but they are everywhere. I’m disappointed as I love this track and it’s been good for me in the past.
“But I’m now looking forward to Canada and putting this weekend behind me. Monaco hasn’t been good to me this year so we need to move on to the next race and look for a better weekend.”
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