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Palmer not worried about losing Renault F1 seat to Ocon

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Jolyon Palmer has no concerns about possibly losing his Renault Formula 1 seat to Esteban Ocon despite failing to score any points in his first 10 grands prix.

2014 GP2 champion Palmer joined Renault upon its return to F1 as a constructor in 2016, partnering ex-McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen.

However, the Briton has not yet recorded a top 10 finish, leading to speculation that he could be replaced at the end of the year.

Ocon enjoys ties with both Mercedes and Renault, and has recently tested F1 cars for both teams with impressive results.

Palmer is not worried about his future, though, preferring to focus on getting the most out of the Renault R.S.16 car.

“I’m not worried by Esteban. I know him well, he’s a member of the team so I’m not worried about my seat with him, I’m just focused on what I’m doing,” Palmer told Sky Sports in the UK.

“To be honest I’m focused on getting the car better, because I think if we can improve the car then there’s a better chance to show what I can do, especially if we can be in Q2 or fighting for points.

“Then that’s a real chance to show I can score and race well against the best, because at the moment it’s harder than it could be.

“I’m not fussed about anyone else.”

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).