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F1 2017 driver review: Jolyon Palmer

Jolyon Palmer

Team: Renault
Car No.: 30
Races: 16
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P6 (Singapore)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 8
Championship Position: 17th

Jolyon Palmer’s second season in Formula 1 offered little improvement in terms of on-track performance compared to his first, resulting in an early dismissal from the Renault team with four races to spare.

The 2014 GP2 champion was hardly Renault’s first choice driver for this season, with his skin being saved by a lack of interest from other drivers for the seat due to concerns about the team’s performance and stability.

Renault grew in strength throughout the season and regularly featured towards the front of the midfield, but it was never really Palmer who led the charge. As teammate Nico Hulkenberg racked up the points, Palmer languished outside of the points, with nine places separating the pair at the checkered flag in Spain.

It came as little surprise when Renault announced in Singapore it had signed Carlos Sainz Jr. for 2018 to replace Palmer – even if the Briton only found out of his dismissal when he read about it online. Curiously, just two days later, he produced the drive of his F1 career by taking an excellent P6 in a chaotic race.

Renault brokered a deal with Palmer to part company after the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, allowing Sainz to join early.

While he may have scored a mere nine points throughout his 37-race stint with the team, his haul in Singapore would prove critical as Renault finished four points clear of Toro Rosso in the race for P6 in the constructors’ championship.

The door does appear shut for Palmer in F1, but he will be keen to prove his worth in another championship and forge a decent racing career his GP2 title win hinted would follow.

Season High: Taking sixth in Singapore and crucial points for Renault.

Season Low: Finishing nine places behind Hulkenberg in the same car in Spain.