Jolyon Palmer will stay on with Renault Sport F1 Team for a second season, with the Englishman retained alongside new signing Nico Hulkenberg.
It comes after Kevin Magnussen looks set to be on the move to Haas and neither Manor driver – Pascal Wehrlein or Esteban Ocon – slots into the seat alongside Renault’s new lead driver.
This gives the team a bit of continuity next year and Palmer a bit of a reprieve after a tough first half season in the sport, but an improved second half.
“I’m over the moon to be racing with Renault Sport Formula One Team for a second season and I can’t wait to reward the team’s faith in me on track,” Palmer said.
“Having worked out of Enstone since 2015 I can fully appreciate the development of the infrastructure this year. This means I share the excitement of the team looking to 2017 and our new car.
“For me, it’s been a steep learning curve driving in Formula 1 and I know that I am performing better than ever, and that there’s still more to come. There is tremendous drive and enthusiasm in Enstone and Viry looking to next year and I am honored to be part of this.”
Renault Sport Racing Chairman Jerome Stoll confirmed Magnussen’s departure while also hailing Palmer’s improvement over the course of the season.
“We are delighted to retain Jolyon as our driver for the 2017 season. Jolyon has shown his hunger to develop with us as the team grows and we have been impressed with his increasingly strong performances on track as the season has progressed,” Stoll said.
“We are confident that the combination of Jolyon and Nico Hülkenberg offers a very promising driving force to meet our goals. Jolyon understands the team’s spirit and motivates everyone he works with.
“The line-up of Jolyon and Nico harnesses the benefits of continuity and fresh blood. I am sure that having Nico as a team-mate will help push Jolyon to greater achievements. We thank Kevin Magnussen for his efforts in 2016 as he has done a great job for us this year. We wish him all the best for 2017 and beyond.”
With Palmer confirmed, Magnussen likely to move and Ocon the frontrunner for the vacant Force India seat, the F1 midfield shakeup looks set to materialize in full.