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F1: Renault driver Jolyon Palmer feeling optimistic

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Renault driver Jolyon Palmer is confident that his team’s newly-launched RS17 can give him a chance to compete this season.

The Brit endured a frustrating season in 2016 as he only managed to pick up one point in the Drivers’ Championship.

He started the season with an 11th place finish in Melbourne at the Australian Grand Prix but that was followed up by a poor result in Bahrain.

His only top 10 finish came in Malaysia towards the end of the campaign and now Palmer is looking forward with plenty of positivity.

He will team up with former Force India star Nico Hulkenberg and Renault are confident of trying to cut the gap at the top of the paddock.

Renault became the first F1 team to launch their car and they have worked on it since they returned to the sport last year.

The French team finished ninth in the constructors’ standings last season but Palmer is feeling good ahead of the new campaign.

He told Sky Sports News HQ: “I hope it’s a realistic target because if we are targeting fifth then we are in the top 10 of the drivers’ [championship].

“And from there, if results go your way and you have a strong weekend, you can dream of having a podium in the year, which for me would be fantastic.

“Last year we couldn’t do what we wanted to do with the car because of the previous Lotus days, now we’ve got a car that’s properly designed and integrated between chassis and engine.

I really believe in the team and think we can do a good job this year.”

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