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.

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.