By Abhishek Takle
BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Jolyon Palmer was left “gutted” after a chance to score his first points of a woeful rookie Formula One campaign got away from him in Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix. The Briton was on course to finish tenth and score a point after a quick pitstop by his Renault team allowed him to leapfrog the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg.
But the 2014 GP2 champion dropped down the order with a spin on the 40th lap and eventually crossed the line outside the top-ten points paying positions in 12th. “Everything was perfect, the car was feeling nice, the strategy was good, the pitstop was good and then I don’t know what but I lost the car in turn four,” said the 25-year-old.
“Obviously it’s a disaster because I was running 10th, we had no pitstops and better pace than the guys behind so it was there today but we didn’t get it,” Palmer said.
Palmer, who drove in several practice sessions last year for his current Enstone-based team then known as Lotus, has had a tough rookie season.
He has retired in four of the eleven races so far with a best finish of 11th in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
His Renault team has struggled for pace with an outdated car, having completed their buyout of Lotus late last year, and team mate Kevin Magnussen’s sixth-place finish in May’s Russian Grand Prix is the outfit’s only points result so far.
The squad lie ninth in the constructors' standings ahead only of Manor, the smallest team on the gird, and Sauber who are yet to score any points.
Magnussen and Palmer are 16th and 20th, respectively, in the drivers’ standings. “It was the best drive of my career but I spun it and we didn’t get any points so I’m gutted,” said Palmer.
“That should have been my first Formula One point. Everything was perfect, the whole team. I was driving easily the best race today.”
(Editing by Rex Gowar)