Jolyon Palmer has been left heavily frustrated after double waved yellow flags hampered his qualifying efforts in Suzuka. The Renault driver was on his final hot lap when the yellow flags came out for the spun Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz.
With the session drawing to it’s close, Sainz and Palmer were both pushing hard to make it into Q3. However, when Sainz came through to the ‘spoon curve’, he was over the limit of grip and drifted out wide. When his wheels came into contact with the damp astroturf lining the outside of the track, Sainz’s car lost grip and spun into the run off area.
Double waved yellow flags were shown immediately and Jolyon Palmer was the first on the scene. Sadly, he was the only one affected as Sainz kept the engine running and returned to the track.
However, this brief period of yellows, which did only last seconds, affected Palmer heavily as he was forced to lift off the throttle and give away crucial lap time.
“Q2 was a bit frustrating really,” he said following the session. “I caught the yellow flag for the Toro Rosso in Spoon and it cost me a couple of tenths.” Although ‘a couple of tenths’ is simply a click of the fingers – in the Formula One midfield, it’s a lot of time. This led Palmer to the conclusion that he, “could have had 13th there.”
This unfortunate outcome, which is completely out of the hands of Palmer, has come at the worst time possible for him. Renault as a team are still yet to announce their driver line up for the forthcoming 2017 season. Starting three places higher in 13th would have given him a better shot at scoring points in consecutive weekends. This means it’ll be interesting to see if Palmer can make an impact on the top 10 from 16th on the grid.
BTW, if it’s any consolation to him, at least he managed to out-qualify Kevin Magnussen!