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Palmer: Speculation about F1 future ‘nothing new’

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Jolyon Palmer says he is taking no notice of speculation about his Formula 1 future with Renault, instead preferring to focus on improving his displays and ending his point-less start to the year.

2014 GP2 champion Palmer stepped up to F1 with Renault last year, but scored just a single point throughout his rookie campaign courtesy of a P10 finish in Malaysia.

Palmer was retained for 2017 alongside Nico Hulkenberg, who has already racked up 14 points for Renault, with the Briton yet to contribute to this haul.

Speculation has been bubbling in recent weeks that Renault could replace Palmer mid-season, with development driver Sergey Sirotkin and recent F1 racer Felipe Nasr linked to the seat.

When asked if he felt under more pressure due to the speculation, Palmer said the only problems could be self-induced as he takes no notice of the rumors.

“What puts pressure on is not putting in good performances,” Palmer said.

“I’m aware that the start of the year has been pretty disappointing. I’m working hard and I’m ready to turn it around.

“In terms of the rumors, there’s been rumors since my third ever race in Formula 1, so there’s nothing new for me.

“Of course the way to stop it is to do well on-track and hopefully I can do that this weekend.”

Palmer picked up his best result of the F1 season so far in Monaco last time out, finishing 11th, which offered him a lift after a rough start to the year.

“It is a confidence boost. Obviously it’s been a very tough start to the year, but there’s been some positives recently, even if it doesn’t necessarily show on the results sheet,” Palmer said.

“But Monaco at least yeah, a race distance and we were pretty competitive in terms of times as well. But obviously when you start 16th, it’s difficult to make any overtakes or do much else, running around in the traffic.

“But at least with a better pace and we could take a bit of confidence in here.”

Video highlights from Stage 13 of the Dakar Rally

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Friday’s Stage 13 of the 40th Dakar Rally went from San Juan to Cordoba to set up the concluding stage of the event.

The video highlights of Stage 13 will air on NBCSN on Saturday at 6:30 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Friday:

CARS

Nassar Al-Attiyah strengthened his hold on second with a stage win as defending winner Stephane Peterhansel crashed in the penultimate stage.

BIKES

Toby Price won his second stage of the 2018 Dakar, his ninth overall, while Matthias Walkner retained the lead ahead of the final stage.

TRUCKS

Eduard Nikolaev continued to make a case for his second consecutive Dakar win after an epic battle to capture Stage 13.

QUADS

Jeremias Gonzalez took Stage 13 of the quads, tightening his grip on third overall in the 2018 Dakar Rally.