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Palmer: Renault stronger despite Vasseur's departure

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Renault driver Jolyon Palmer believes his team is in a much stronger position this year, despite team principal Frederic Vasseur leaving the over the winter.

Renault struggled in its first year back as a full-factory team after an eleventh hour takeover of the underfunded Lotus team. Most of the season was dedicated to rebuilding the team, but at the start of this year the French manufacturer announced Vasseur would be leaving by "mutual consent".

Palmer, who is now in his second year at Renault, believes the more simple structure under managing director Cyril Abiteboul could help push things forward.

"Fred left, which was a shame, but we've still got Cyril, Jerome Stroll as well, so these guys have run Formula One teams and been very senior in Renault," Palmer told Sky Sports. "So we're still in very good hands and in a way things are maybe a little bit simpler now.

"We're still in very good hands and in a way things are maybe a little bit simpler now. The feeling in the team is this is a year where we can actually do something. Last year we had our hands tied a little bit from the problems with Lotus, this year it's a proper Renault stamp on everything.

"We've still got some great people in the team, people who have won races and even won championships with Renault before, so everyone is super excited to get going and see if we can get back towards that."

After failing to score a point in his rookie year, Palmer is confident he will have a better season in 2017.

"I'm with a manufacturer team, a team that I believe is going places, and even if I didn't show last year I'm sure that the results will come," he added. "I'm in a much better position stood here now and I'm looking forward to 2017."