Palmer Dismisses Renault Departure Rumours: “I’ll be racing until Abu Dhabi”

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Renault Sport F1 Team‘s Jolyon Palmer says he WILL complete the rest of the season and has dismissed speculation over being replaced as early as the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Continued rumours suggest that Carlos Sainz Jr. will become a Renault driver for the 2018 season as compensation for Scuderia Toro Rosso ending their engine contract early with the French manufacturer.

Renault is expected to announce they’ll supply the McLaren F1 Team as they look to end their torrid three-year relationship with Honda, who will switch to supplying Toro Rosso instead from the 2018 season.

French Red Bull Junior driver Pierre Gasly fuelled the rumours when he hinted he had the chance of driving with Toro Rosso for Malaysia, if Sainz does switch early. But Palmer, speaking at the press conference for this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, insisted that he will be driving for Renault for the remainder of the season.

“I have a contract, I’ve got seven more races this year.” said Palmer.  “There have been suggestions for 35 races that I might be not in the next one, or in the next few. 

“It’s nothing new for me, it is water off a duck’s back. It is the same, I think most races this year it’s been the same, so nothing has changed.  I’ll be in Malaysia. I’ll be racing until Abu Dhabi.”

Palmer has only scored one point throughout his two years in Formula 1, with his best result coming with a tenth place at the Malaysian Grand Prix back in 2016.  All of Renault’s points this season have come from team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, with the Briton failing to better eleventh place, but despite the rumours surrounding his future, the 2014 GP2 Series champion says he doesn’t care about the talk and is excited about the future.

“I don’t care too much to talk about it,” said Palmer.  “I know what’s happening. I think there will be announcement at some point in the future, not too long. For me, I’m excited about the future. I haven’t thought too much, but I’m excited for what’s to come.”