Cyril Abiteboul believes Jolyon Palmer deserves to be in a ‘world class championship’, despite his Renault Sport Formula 1 Team replacing him with Carlos Sainz Jr. towards the end of the 2017 season.
Poor reliability and the apparent inability to match team-mate Nico Hülkenberg throughout the season cost Palmer badly, and he scored points only once in the Singapore Grand Prix, and was dropped from the team ahead of the United States Grand Prix in favour of Spaniard Sainz.
Abiteboul, the Team Principal of Renault, says they will continue to help Palmer find a new home in motorsport, although he feels Jolyon and his father Jonathan seem to be in firm control of his destiny.
“I think it’s fair to say Jo and his family are now more in complete control of the next steps and their future,” said Abiteboul to Motorsport.com.
“We did try to look at options, which I don’t want to detail publicly, but I don’t think Jonathan or Jo would challenge the fact we’ve been extremely helpful – the best we could.
“The avenues we explored have not worked out so far, but we will see – Renault is a large family in motorsports, we have a number of activities, so we will see what the future can hold for everyone.”
Palmer has been linked with a possible move into the FIA Formula E championship, with Renault running a works team whilst also supplying Techeetah, but Abiteboul believes the timing of the talks means this has not become a reality.
“I think there was maybe a timing issue,” said Abiteboul. “Maybe we could have developed something if there could have been an earlier buying into the process from all involved, but that’s not happened so far.
“We will see. Anything we can do to help Jo we will do, because I really think he deserves to be in a world class championship.”