Jolyon Palmer confirms Renault F1 exit after Suzuka

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Jolyon Palmer will make his final Formula 1 appearance for Renault in Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix, announcing his departure from the team after the Suzuka race.

Palmer was set to leave Renault after two difficult years at the end of the season following the team’s signing of Carlos Sainz Jr. for 2018, and had reportedly been offered a pay-off to leave early.

Palmer stressed he would see out the season, sticking to his contract, but announced on Instagram on Saturday after qualifying that Suzuka would be his final race for Renault.

“Tomorrow’s Japanese GP will be my last race for Renault,” Palmer wrote.

“With my grid penalty I’ll be starting near the back but I will be giving it my all as always.

“Thanks everyone for the support during the last two years, it means a lot!”

Renault had been pushing to bring Sainz in early and replace Palmer, with confirmation of the Spaniard completing the final four races of the year expected to follow shortly.

With Sainz moving up from Toro Rosso to Renault, a seat would be free for Daniil Kvyat to return and partner Pierre Gasly, who replaced the Russian in Malaysia last weekend.