Despite his fruitless first half of the 2017 season, the option of retaining Jolyon Palmer for a third year is being considered by Renault Sport Formula 1 Team, on the condition that he raises his game for the remainder of the races.
Palmer is yet to score a point in 2017, and has been comprehensively outqualified by Nico Hulkenberg, Renault’s other driver. He sits tenth in the drivers championship, whereas Palmer has been firmly relegated to the bottom of the points table. The Briton has also had a string of technical failures that have seen him even fail to start certain races, as well as some needless contact with the likes of Romain Grosjean.
One of the biggest stories in motorsport this year is that Renault have been assessing former Formula One driver, Robert Kubica, seemingly suggesting that Palmer’s fate has already been sealed. Nevertheless, team managing director, Cyril Abiteboul still maintains that for the time being, Palmer will retain his seat for the rest of the season, and whether he will be driving next year is down to his performance, rather than Kubica’s.
The Brit was in a similarly precarious position last season, but was able to up his game and challenge Kevin Magnussen. He also scored his first point in the second half of the season, in Malaysia. Abiteboule makes it clear that the same is needed this year.
Speaking to Motorsport.com, Abiteboul commented that “If he manages to turn around the situation, which he did last year, we are completely open to a future between the team and Jo for one more season.”
“Stability would be good for the team. That’s also what we wanted last year – to have Nico changing we wanted not to have to change two drivers.
“Things could go his [Palmer’s] way, but at the end of the day, that’s in his hands.