Although his rookie season did not yield the results he had hoped for, Jolyon Palmer believes the tough campaign has made him mentally stronger.
Palmer entered Formula 1 last season with Renault.
Although he started with an 11th place in Australia, it wasn’t until round 16 of the championship, the Malaysian Grand Prix, that he scored his first point.
It was to be his only point of the campaign.
“I’ve become a lot stronger because of this year, mentally it has been tough,” Palmer told Autosport.
“Everything that could have been thrown my way has been, in terms of driving a difficult car and maybe being undervalued.
“Also, having all the mind games with different drivers out there [chasing the seat for 2017] and not knowing what’s going to happen next means you gain a lot of mental strength, as well as improving as a driver.
“I don’t think it’s a bad thing if it can improve you in the long run and hopefully this will be the toughest it gets.”
Remaining with Renault for 2017, Palmer believes he can put the lessons learned into effect as the team attempts to claw its way back into contention.
“In terms of technical understanding, I’ve learned a lot,” said Palmer.
“The Silverstone test day, we were trying loads of different things with the car and generally we have ended up with the car in the window where we can get the most out of it because we have tried quite a lot of things and we have narrowed down to where we are now.
“This team is very good, there are a lot of very experienced guys here who have been used to being much further up the field and who are not happy to be where we are, so everyone is working to get more out of the team.
“Especially with Renault coming in now, being where we are is not acceptable, but we have been trying a lot of different things and there’s a lot we can collectively learn for the future.”