Renault preview the Australian Grand Prix


Nico Hulkenberg feels well-equipped to challenge for points in Australia, as Jolyon Palmer wants his experience to count.

Nico Hulkenberg: "I love going to Australia and to Melbourne. I'm super-comfortable there as it's a wonderful place with great people and there's a very relaxed atmosphere.

"Albert Park itself is just beautiful, especially when you drive into the track in the morning and see that it's packed with fans – you get so much support there. It's great to see so many people come and watch what we do.

"The first race of the season is going to be very exciting. The cars are like driving a very fast and spectacular roller-coaster and it's a lot more demanding than before, now you have to wrestle these cars!

"The tyres allow you to push harder every lap, so you can exploit and be on the limit, it's a lot more work and a lot more demanding. There's a lot that's new, but the game is still the same.

"In terms of performance I see us in the midfield at the moment but the pace is good and from here we can improve step by step and work our way up.

"It's going to be a tough fight as there are some very fast and well established teams currently ahead of us, but we have everything we need to fight for points. Once you're sat in the car, on the grid and watching the lights, it's business as usual. Bring it on!"

Jolyon Palmer: "I'm feeling good and I can't wait to race the R.S.17 for a full Grand Prix. This new generation of car is really awesome to drive and we have a great opportunity to take a strong step forward during the season ahead.

"I enjoyed driving the car in pre-season testing as the team have addressed all the areas we needed to improve from the R.S.16, and when you add the improvements made to everything that comes with the new regulations it's a good place to be.

"I'm happy and positive and can't wait to race.

"It's great to be going into my second season as an F1 driver as I can use all my experience from last season. I know the tracks and I know what is possible from an F1 car.

"It's going to be really interesting for the first few races as we learn how our car goes in race conditions and see how competitive we are relative to our opposition."