Palmer says he’s on a par with Magnussen now

2016 Japanese Grand Prix

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Jolyon Palmer believes his performance in the cockpit compares favourably with that of his more experienced team mate.

The rookie driver says he’s been on Kevin Magnussen’s level for “the last ten races”.

“I feel that the early part of the season was quite difficult,” said Palmer in today’s FIA press conference, “but I think after Monaco everything’s been pretty close all the time with Kev.”

Palmer scored the first point of his F1 career at the last race despite owning up to a mistake during Q1. “[In] Malaysia I think qualifying wasn’t my strong point,” he said.

“I was doing quite well until qualifying but at least I recovered in the race.”

“I’d say performance-wise we were definitely quicker than we have been,” he added. “On Friday we knew that on quali and also on the long runs we were looking quite good.”

“And then in the race a mixture of keeping the tyres alive and good strategy because starting 19th there was quite a lot of work to do. We did one stop and we used the soft tyre which was quick to the end. So, I have Carlos [Sainz Jnr] putting me under a bit of pressure but we managed to keep the pace up and make the one-stop work.”

2016 Japanese Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    35 comments on “Palmer says he’s on a par with Magnussen now”

    1. This guy is trying to sell himself at any price, if he gives himself MAG as a target then he will go very far in F1.

    2. At least from the outside it doesn’t look as if Palmer is on par to Magnussen. He doesn’t look bad, but not exciting either. Magnussen performances when he scored points were quite impressive. I don’t want to take anything from Palmer, but last weekend many drivers didn’t finish the race, so points score result was quite lucky. And in qualifying he’s losing too, not by much, but still. If I was a team boss, I’d certainly pick Magnussen and replace Palmer with something better, that is still on the market: Ocon, Bottas, Sainz (if they can get him, that would be very good for them), even Kvyat would be better choice. Also they should maybe look at some good prospects from junior categories (Leclerc, Giovannazi or even Gasly if he’s available).

      1. @osvaldas31 Sainz signed for a 2017 Toro Rosso drive earlier on in the year so he’s completely off the market. My bet is Ocon. I certainly wouldn’t say no to such an exceptional talent like him

        1. @mattypf1 Yes, but there were rumours, that Renault could buy out Sainz’s contract, because they badly want him, and really there’s no future for him to get to the main RBR team.

          1. Well I don’t blame them for wanting Sainz. He is genuine quality talent and I can agree with you in saying that a Red Bull, IMHO, will not be available for at least 3 years and Toro Rosso will boot Sainz in favour of Richard Verschoor or Luis Leeds.

        2. (Sainz) is completely off the market.

          You’re probably right @mattypf1; like Alonso was off the market in 2014. Stranger things have happened.

          PS – rumours now are linking the Hulk with Renault. He’s also under contract, but every contract has an exit clause (like not paying wages on time).

      2. I would to some degree agree with what Palmer is saying and in general has done a decent job over the season…

        Turning the facts of the 5-11 (Palmer – KMag) stats around a little and discounting races where either driver didn’t finish (or start) that come down to 4-7 (Palmer – Kmag). Taking these into consideration and that it is Palmers first season in F1, it indicates that Palmer is showing some potential, in a new team.

        As of yet Ocon hasn’t really done a huge amount to impress.

        Bottas, I suspect will remain at Williams

        Sainz most likely will remain in Toro Rosso

        Kvyat is the only one who may be available, but, I don’t believe he is much/any better than Palmer..

    3. I think the results say otherwise, especially in qualifying. There’s not a huge amount in it, but I would say that Magnussen is edging it.

      1. Agree you Craig… Palmer might be slightly better than Chilton but wont around F1 one for a long time in my opinion

    4. If I was an F1 boss I’d be looking elsewhere than Palmer. Other drivers have funds and are quite simply better in all departments. He isn’t even dependable to pick up when things go wrong for others. Too many times he could’ve been in a position to score but hasn’t performed. I’d even agree with @osvaldas31 that Kvyat is better and frankly his demotion to Torro Rosso has shown him to be pretty sub par too.

    5. Not good for magnussen then….

      1. Well, Magnussen has obliterated Palmer in most qualifying sessions, especially at Malaysia. And he’s been far better in the races, doing real overtakes, not just pit stop ones. So, I don’t really see why Palmer feels that way – but ofcourse, PR is PR.

    6. He is actually correct.

      Looking purely at pace then the 2 have been very closely matched for some time now with the gap between them in qualifying more often than not is only about 1-2 tenths which isn’t bad at all.

      I think a lot of fans have a preconceived idea on Jolyon so just don’t want to give him any chance at all, They don’t think he should be in the car & don’t want to give him a chance to prove himself as half decent so ignore everything & anything he does that may make him look better than they want him to be.
      It was the same with Maldonado, Many fans decided he was rubbish so like to make excuses for his win & other good races because looking at those good results objectively disproves there belief that he was awful or whatever.

      If you believe that Jolyon doesn’t deserve his seat then this also surely means that Magnussen doesn’t deserve his seat because on pure pace they are a lot more evenly matched than many here will ever admit (Just go back & look at qualifying results).

      1. Ok, let’s look at the results:
        So far it’s 11-5 in Magnussens favor regarding qualifying against Palmer. But actually it’s only 4 because Magnussen got a penalty.
        In 16 races Magnussen has finished ahead of Palmer 9 times and only retired 3 times compared to Palmers 5 retirements so far.

        So from my point of view, Magnussen has more pace than Palmer, is more consistent and finish more races. But i’ll give you that Palmer has been a positive surprise regarding his pace, but he’ll never catch Magnussen. :)

        1. You missed the point I was looking to make. I wasn’t looking at who was ahead of the other, I was looking at pure race & making the point that the 2 have been evenly matched on pace which is basically what Jolyon was saying.

          Yes Kevin has been ahead more, But even then as I say there’s only ever usually 1-2 tenths between them & on the whole they have been very evenly matched over the 2nd half of the season so far

          1. Crashandburn
            7th October 2016, 9:25

            Ok – take a look on todays practice sessions in Japan – on par? I would say the only thing on par is their racecars…

            1. Crashandburn, I wouldn’t really take the practise sessions at face value – have you taken into account the differences in fuel load, tyre wear, whether the driver was trialling development parts and so forth. Practise times can be misleading – for example, if you went by the practise times alone, you would have assumed that Rosberg would have easily won the German GP given he was consistently the best part of 0.3-0.4s faster than Hamilton during the practise sessions.

        2. Rygiel, whilst I personally don’t think Palmer is a great driver, it should be pointed out that four of his five retirements were due to mechanical failures on the car (such as his hydraulics failure in Bahrain, where he didn’t even manage to start the race).

          Magnussen has retired from fewer races in total, but two of those three retirements were due to driver error – so although Palmer has a higher retirement rate, Magnussen is currently the more likely driver to make a race ending mistake whilst behind the wheel.

          To a certain extent, I would say that is also reflected in the number of times that each driver has been investigated for their conduct on track – Magnussen has come under investigation for erratic driving on track more frequently than Palmer (something which he was also criticised for whilst at McLaren).

          1. Hi youre right about the practice sessions, but it does give a clue..these investigations you mentioned about MAG – I think they are more a question about being a defect on the car..
            if you are in the middle grid felt you are more exposed to traffic and accidents in the start…PAL don’t have these issues as he often is far befind on the grid..

      2. Oh Yeah..
        In Singapore Magnussen was only 60 sec. ahead of palmer when the race finished.
        Get your point.

        1. Ha ha yes on par – we are in the same racing class and team…

    7. The idea is to beat your teammate and not just be on par. Also, Magnussen has a podium in his pocket (although with a different team).

    8. Adam (@rocketpanda)
      6th October 2016, 14:56


      Sorry Palmer, but you haven’t been. You’ve been close but Magnussen has looked like he’s got an edge over you at almost every race. In a way that’s to be expected he has a race season under his belt and you’re a rookie, but for a guy that sat out for a year I thought you’d be actually be closer to him.

      Don’t let the point go to your head.

    9. To quote Alonso: “Ha ha ha ha ha”

      © Fernando Alonso, 2016 Italian GP

    10. I’d like to see Palmer beating Magnussen but that’s not happening. I hope he gets a second year in f1. I wouldn’t want to see a “Vergne” in him, a driver with raw talent that does not improve in any way. At least he’s not a “Kvyat” he’s not delusional.

      1. Can you elaborate on what makes you think that Kyvat is delusional @peartree?

        1. @neelv27 Of course I could. It’s that passive aggressiveness you are showing me.

          1. Can I ask what on earth are you talking about?

            1. @lolzerbob, you can, but you probably won’t get much of a coherent answer out of him.

            2. He has been around this site for a very long time and I remember when I joined here in 2010, he was one of the few fanatics I used to enjoy reading his opinions but I dunno over the last couple of months, I’ve sensed more of rude posts and some absence of logic from him.

              I dunno, it’s funny as I genuinely asked his opinion on Kyvat and I don’t think I was any “aggressive” in asking that but….there you go, no point wasting time if someone just misses the point.

    11. What a laugh…no PAL you are NOT on are far, far behind him – Qualify 11-5, points, setup input, race craft – but one thing you do have “money” which isn’t silly – the team needs technical staff which could be bought for your money..this could lift the car with seconds and not tenth of seconds by the drivers – who need MAG then…well I would miss him but Renault don’t care..

    12. I’m disappointed with Palmer’s results. I’m not sure if it is him or the car, but I would have thought that as a GP2 Champion he’d have more than 1 point in the Drivers’ Championship Standings.

    13. Crashandburn
      7th October 2016, 5:08

      Hi – I’m not disapointed with PAL – he has done ok… but MAG has done better – thats a fact. PAL is trying to look better than he is for obvious reasons: the seat decision for 2017..and maybe this UK written article is done trying to support him…did we all forget the last qualify where MAG lost P1 and half P2 because of a burning car – but MAG still won the qualify with .5 seconds, 5 grids higher than PAL. On a modified race track with many new curves…You can’t fool me PAL – MAG is ahead of you…he just proved it!

    14. I think this is the third time or so Palmer is coming out to say that now he is on par with Magnussen. It just doesn’t stick. With that said Palmer is not as bad as people think. Ocon on the other hand who was supposed to be a super talent. Yeah yeah it is early days, he started mid season, he has been unlucky etc etc, but so far he has shown nothing, literally nothing at all. If I was Renault and I knew that I might have another quite difficult season coming up, I am really not sure I would choose Ocon over Palmer. Especially as other people have pointed out Palmer has money, whereas Ocon costs money…

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