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Palmer longing for a trouble-free weekend

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Renault's Jolyon Palmer is hoping he'll finally get a break for the problem-ridden weekends he has endured since the season got underway in Melbourne.

The Brit inauspiciously hit the wall in Australia only to be plaque by brake problems in the race while he got just a handful of laps under his belt in China.

A healthy couple of sessions on Friday would go a long way towards helping him get the most out of an RS17 chassis which team mate Nico Hulkenberg has proven can fight for a good spot in the mid-field mix.

"The performance of the car is pretty good as Nico [Hulkenberg] has been showing like in China in qualifying," Palmer said.

"So it is about having a trouble-free race weekend, getting some laps on Friday as I think I've done about 10 so far across two weekends so it would be nice to have a clean weekend to try to get the points."

Palmer's underperformance in qualifying trim begs the question as to whether he may feel more comfortable in race mode rather than when focusing on a one-lap wonder.

"No, I just think we’ve had particularly difficult weekends. Australia was a very tough weekend for many reasons but China was much better,"  Palmer admitted.

"The car was feeling good and I finally had a clean session in FP3 and we were in the top 10. In qualifying I really thought I could make it into Q3 as well but I didn't get a lap in for Q1.

"Starting from the back it was difficult to do much and we couldn't make much inroads.

Beyond his troubled start to 2017, Palmer is enjoying his time behind the wheel of his faster, new-spec RS17.

"I like it! That’s for sure. I think probably every driver is enjoying driving one of these cars: there’s a lot of downforce.

"For me, having never driven a V8 or a V10 era of F1 car, this is really exciting. It’s easily the quickest I’ve ever driven. The downforce is the main thing that we feel and it’s exciting."

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