RACE DEBRIEF

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    Palmer bows out early

    The news on Saturday night that the Briton would be standing down at Renault following the race took many people by surprise. Accepted paddock wisdom suggested that a deal for financial compensation was probably finally realised, triggering the change.

    On a horrible day for the French team which saw it drop from seventh to eighth place overall as Haas moved up, and Nico Hulkenberg retired from points contention with a DRS problem, Palmer hauled himself from 18th on the grid to 12th, only 1.4s off Massa and sixth-tenths down on Fernando Alonso.

    “We had a solid last race, we started from the back and with one more lap, I think we could have had 10th,” he said. “It’s been a tough season but the team and I have been through a lot, I’ve been here since the start of this new era. We’ve come a long way and I’ve enjoyed it. I wish the team all the best in the future.”

    With so few 2018 seats remaining – and with the market for them so crowded – as things stand, it looks like his F1 career could well be over.

    2014 FORMULA 1 UBS CHINESE GRAND PRIX

    China 2014

    Practice 1 results

    POSITION TIME
    1 Fernando Alonso ALO Ferrari 1:39.783
    2 Nico Rosberg ROS Mercedes +0.398s
    3 Daniel Ricciardo RIC Red Bull Racing +0.989s
    4 Jenson Button BUT McLaren +1.187s
    5 Nico Hulkenberg HUL Force India +1.392s
    6 Kevin Magnussen MAG McLaren +1.583s
    7 Jean-Eric Vergne VER Toro Rosso +1.722s
    8 Lewis Hamilton HAM Mercedes +1.777s
    9 Sebastian Vettel VET Red Bull Racing +1.846s
    10 Felipe Massa MAS Williams +1.916s
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