40 years of passion for Formula One
With powerful and innovative designs that showcase the best in technology, style and passion, Renault proudly celebrates 40 years since it first raced in the Formula One circuit.
Driver biography: Jolyon Palmer
Born in Horsham in 1991, Jolyon started out in karts, but was already racing cars at the age of 14 in the T Car championship - a saloon car series for drivers aged 14 to 17. In his first full year of competition in 2006, he scored 4 podiums and dominated the T Car Autumn Trophy with 4 wins in 6 races.
Jolyon Palmer narrowly missed out on the points in Spielberg, but the Brit is ready for his home Grand Prix where a maiden top ten finish of the season is within reach.
Is it exciting to race in your home Grand Prix?
I’m really looking forward to racing in front of the home crowd. I love the track and it’s always a special weekend at Silverstone. People always turn out in huge numbers and they are very passionate which really pushes us drivers. My first Grand Prix at Silverstone was when I was six and a fan, so it’s special to be there with lots of reminiscing. It’s always a great experience.
Do you like the circuit?
It’s certainly the Formula 1 track that I know the best so I’m hoping that gives me an extra boost along with all the home support. There are lots of high speed corners which are cool to drive and a lap has a really good flow to it. I had my first race at Silverstone when I was fifteen so I know the place pretty well! I’ve been on the podium a few times throughout my career including a win in Formula Two and second and third places in GP2.
What are your post-race feelings from Spielberg?
It was a solid race and I was pushing like hell at the end. We were so close to the points, but it was another eleventh place! Overall, it was a decent weekend. I made a small mistake in qualifying which put us out in Q1, with the times so very close in Austria. The race was quite good, but I was behind Lance Stroll for over 40 laps, and I just wasn’t able to pass him no matter how hard I tried! Silverstone’s my home race so I am excited for that. I am going there after a fairly positive weekend, so I am aiming to keep the momentum and get those points.
Driver biography: Nico Hülkenberg
With an impressive racing career, Nico made his debut as a Renault Sport Formula One Team driver in the 2017 Australian Grand Prix. Born in Emmerich am Rhein, Germany in 1987, he has secured championship titles in Formula BMW, A1GP and the GP2 Series, and made his Formula1 debut in 2010. He also achieved a pole position in his rookie F1 season and won at Le Mans on his debut.
A challenging Austrian Grand Prix for Nico Hülkenberg means he has extra determination to strive for points on a fast and flowing Silverstone circuit.
What do you make of Silverstone?
Silverstone is a high-speed circuit with lots of old corner combinations such as Maggots, Becketts and Chapel which are truly awesome. There are so many great corners where you really feel the forces of a Formula 1 car. You have to really work your neck in the build-up before Silverstone to get ready for the high G forces and it’s important to be ready for it. At Silverstone we’ll really feel the extra cornering forces from the cars this season. We need good high speed balance on the car to maximise our performance. It’s a challenging lap but also a lot of fun and very special.
And what about the British atmosphere?
Silverstone is one of the historic races on the calendar. You really get a feel for the roots of racing there. The atmosphere is buzzing and that always give me an extra boost, especially as my Formula 1 home for so many years was just outside the gates. You get a great feeling when you’re driving with the thousands of fanatical Formula 1 supporters cheering you on. It’s one of those special races because the grandstands are full – all around the circuit and across the entire weekend. There’s a really cool, traditional atmosphere about the place which is great to experience. You always see how much the fans love the sport. It will be a busy weekend with lots of people and lots of sponsors there to see us, especially with the 40th anniversary celebrations.
How do you sum up Austria?
Sunday wasn’t good, but Saturday was more positive, P11 on the grid was probably the best we could have done. In the race, the anti-stall at the start kicked in and we dropped to the back, we need to review what happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. I was almost last by the first corner and it was difficult after that. I struggled on the Supersoft tyres and I wasn’t making ground, so we switched to the Softs to try something different. I lost a lot of time with the front runners and blue flags, so it was difficult. We will analyse, regroup and go again in a couple of days.