After completing his final weekend as a Renault Sport Formula 1 Team driver in finishing twelfth in the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, Jolyon Palmer admitted it was a strange feeling to go through the weekend knowing he would not be racing for the team in the United States Grand Prix and beyond.
Palmer will be replaced by Carlos Sainz Jr. for the final four races of season as the Spaniard makes an early switch from Scuderia Toro Rosso, but the Briton feels it makes sense for him to step aside to give Sainz the opportunity to embed himself in the team ahead of a full campaign in 2018.
“It’s been a bit of a strange weekend knowing it’s the last with the team after three years, shame not going to Austin,” said Palmer to Sky Sports. “It’s been pretty clear, Carlos has signed for next year and Cyril [Abiteboul] made it clear he wanted him in the car this year as well.
“After this race it’s a couple of weeks’ gap and it made sense for it to be the time to part ways. It’s a shame for me not to finish the season, I’ve been here a while and I respect the decision and wish Carlos and the team all the best for the future.”
Palmer admits he does not know when it will sink in that his time with Renault is over, and he knows there is a possibility that he will not race in Formula 1 again.
“I don’t know,” said Palmer. “I focused on the race on the plane back home it’ll probably sink in that I’m not with Renault and maybe not F1 again.”