An F1 career of near-misses

An F1 career of near-misses

Jolyon Palmer is bidding to become the first British driver to win for Renault in Formula 1. DEREK WARWICK recalls his near-misses with the French marque and reflects on an F1 career that left "a little hole"

On his 27th start, Derek Warwick should have won a Formula 1 race for the first time.

Smart strategy, searing pace and problems for the McLarens of Niki Lauda and Alain Prost put the Briton in the perfect position in the 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix. But a knock from Lauda early on ultimately led to an agonising wishbone failure in the closing stages.

His performance in the season opener, on his Renault debut, was so impressive that the idea of him ending his career without a win seemed highly unlikely.

But that's what happened. Despite more than 100 other attempts, the Briton - a four-time podium finisher - never quite had the same opportunity to win again. New Renault recruit Jolyon Palmer will be hoping he gets half the shot Warwick did.

Here, the 1992 World Sportscar champion reflects on his time with Renault, turning down Williams, Senna blocking a Lotus move and how he views his endurance-racing success alongside his F1 career...

We were competitive all season in 1984. Tyres played a part at various times, we had Michelins and some had Goodyears, but we had the team left by Alain Prost the previous year, which was very good with Michel Tetu (chief designer), Jean-Claude Migeot (aerodynamicist), Gerard Larrouse (team boss) and very good engineers and mechanics.

The '84 car was great to drive. We lived at Paul Ricard testing. The engine was a little thirsty so we had to turn it down during the race, but the disappointing thing looking back was the reliability - turbos, gearboxes and general breakdowns.

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