With a full F1 season now under his belt, Jolyon Palmer can’t wait for the 2017 season to get underway at Albert Park.
What’s your feeling heading to the first race of the year?
I’m feeling good and I can’t wait to race the R.S.17 for a full Grand Prix. This new generation of car is really awesome to drive and we have a great opportunity to take a strong step forward during the season ahead. I enjoyed driving the car in pre-season testing as the team have addressed all the areas we needed to improve from the R.S.16, and when you add the improvements made to everything that comes with the new regulations it’s a good place to be. I’m happy and positive and can’t wait to race.
What do you think of Albert Park as a track?
I drove it for the first time last year and I was a very happy man as it’s exactly my type of circuit. The track has a semi-street feel to it, and these cars are bigger and much faster; it will be tough, but I think it’s going to be an awesome first Grand Prix of the year. Albert Park is a pretty cool circuit, it’s a bit bumpy and it has a decent challenge to it.
We had an awesome response when we arrived last year and I can’t wait to hit town again. Australia is such a mega country with some really interesting characters and I had a really warm welcome last year.
How different is the team starting this season compared to twelve months ago?
It’s massively different and you can see all the improvements made in so many aspects. Last year’s car did the job, but this year’s is a real improvement in so many areas. It’s great to see so much work and growth going on back at Enstone when I visit and I know there’s a lot more to come. There’s a great feeling in the team with everyone working together in the same direction. We’ve all grown and developed a lot since we were last in Albert Park and I hope that will show well when we take to the track.
What are your targets and aspirations for this race and the season ahead?
It’s great to be going into my second season as an F1 driver as I can use all my experience from last season. I know the tracks and I know what is possible from an F1 car. I want to be fighting for points whenever possible and I know that’s the aim of the team too. I have a great crew around me and it’s good to have Nico on board as I think we will work well together over the year. It’s going to be really interesting for the first few races as we learn how our car goes in race conditions and see how competitive we are relative to our opposition.