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Renault: Out-of-form Jolyon Palmer has 'deep reserves' of mental strength

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Renault chief Cyril Abiteboul says Jolyon Palmer has "deep reserves" of mental fortitude and can bounce back from his tough start to 2017.

Palmer crashed out on the opening lap in Russia, a day after he was eliminated in the opening qualifying session. Palmer's struggles have been magnified by Nico Hulkenberg's strong start to life with Renault, with the German 4-0 up in qualifying against his teammate and on six points following top-ten finishes in Bahrain and Russia.

Abiteboul is sure Palmer's form and luck will turn around as the 2014 GP2 champion showed a similar recovery in his rookie season last year.

"For Jolyon, it's been a tough start to the season; if there's been an issue affecting the car, you can almost guarantee it happens his side of the garage," Abiteboul said. "This is something we are responding to by ensuring each and every reliability issue that impacts upon performance is addressed and so much work occurs in this regard away from the track at Enstone and Viry.

"We know that Jolyon has deep reserves and can bounce back well. We saw last year how he came on strong in the second half of the season so we're working hard to give him the car in which he can deliver."

Palmer's elimination from Q3 in Russia followed a problematic start to the weekend, with an overnight chassis change robbing him of any meaningful running in FP3 on Saturday morning. With issues plaguing the start of his campaign Palmer is hoping for a clean weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix.

"The outlook [for Barcelona] is good. We've seen what the R.S.17 is capable of and I know that all I need to score points is a straightforward weekend. Russia was really frustrating as I had a good car under me but I was out of the race by the second corner. That's motor racing, but it's still very frustrating."