Palmer brushes off criticism ahead of China


Jolyon Palmer has said he is not bothered by the criticism levelled at him and is "relishing" the challenge of out-performing team-mate Niko Hulkenberg.

The Brit is considered very fortunate in some quarters to have been retained by Renault for a second season, but after a poor show in Australia there are already doubts that his contract will be extended into 2018 and beyond.

Palmer has said he is well aware of the criticism and of the belief that Hulkenberg will massively overshadow him this season.

"It's fair to say that's the expectation from a lot of people," Palmer told

"It was the expectation this time last year as well and it wasn't the case. I always relish the challenge. It's always good as a driver to go up against a really top team-mate.

"Nico's track record is really good and a lot of people have been saying he could have a top seat, so to have him alongside me is a chance to prove myself really, and also learn from him as well."

Palmer also said that there have already been signs he is capable of matching Hulkenberg and is looking forward to doing so again in China.

In pre-season testing we were quite close and Friday's running I think was quite comparable," Palmer added.

"And then there was the crash and the aftermath has been a real different ballgame between me and him. I'll start afresh in China and we'll go again."

Asked specifically about the criticism, Palmer revealed that it does not bother him as he has been proving people wrong throughout his career.

He said: "I'm used to it to be honest. Nobody thought I'd win GP2 and I won GP2. Nobody thought I'd make it to F1 and I did.

"Nobody thought I could be a match for Kev and I was. It'll probably carry on. It doesn't bother me. The results speak for themselves in the end.

"Sometimes in racing perception is quite different to results on paper, and people can think someone is better or worse than they are. If you look at the results, maybe that initial perception is not quite the full story."