F1 2017 driver review: Jolyon Palmer

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Jolyon Palmer

Team: Renault
Car No.: 30
Races: 16
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P6 (Singapore)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 8
Championship Position: 17th

Jolyon Palmer’s second season in Formula 1 offered little improvement in terms of on-track performance compared to his first, resulting in an early dismissal from the Renault team with four races to spare.

The 2014 GP2 champion was hardly Renault’s first choice driver for this season, with his skin being saved by a lack of interest from other drivers for the seat due to concerns about the team’s performance and stability.

Renault grew in strength throughout the season and regularly featured towards the front of the midfield, but it was never really Palmer who led the charge. As teammate Nico Hulkenberg racked up the points, Palmer languished outside of the points, with nine places separating the pair at the checkered flag in Spain.

It came as little surprise when Renault announced in Singapore it had signed Carlos Sainz Jr. for 2018 to replace Palmer – even if the Briton only found out of his dismissal when he read about it online. Curiously, just two days later, he produced the drive of his F1 career by taking an excellent P6 in a chaotic race.

Renault brokered a deal with Palmer to part company after the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, allowing Sainz to join early.

While he may have scored a mere nine points throughout his 37-race stint with the team, his haul in Singapore would prove critical as Renault finished four points clear of Toro Rosso in the race for P6 in the constructors’ championship.

The door does appear shut for Palmer in F1, but he will be keen to prove his worth in another championship and forge a decent racing career his GP2 title win hinted would follow.

Season High: Taking sixth in Singapore and crucial points for Renault.

Season Low: Finishing nine places behind Hulkenberg in the same car in Spain.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.