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.”
In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.
Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.
Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.
The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.
“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”
Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.
SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.
When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.
SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.
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