Renault keeps Palmer for 2017

2017 F1 season

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Jolyon Palmer will stay at Renault for a second season in 2017, the team has confirmed.

Palmer week be joined by Nico Hulkenberg, whose move to the team from Force India had previously been announced.

“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,” said Renault’s Jerome Stroll.

“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.”

Palmer said he “can’t wait to reward the team’s faith in me on track”.

“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 honoured to be part of this.”

The news means Kevin Magnussen will not drive for the team next season.

“We thank Kevin Magnussen for his efforts in 2016 as he has done a great job for us this year,” said Stroll. “We wish him all the best for 2017 and beyond.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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68 comments on “Renault keeps Palmer for 2017”

  1. Strange decision. He couldn’t beat Kevin Magnussen, and there were even more appealing drivers on the market. Maybe they’re just glad with his financial supporters.

    1. Magnussen declined the 1-year Renault deal and is going to Haas.

    2. @osvaldas31 as @ultimateuzair Magnussen probably resigned as Haas showed insterest rather than Palmer actually beating Kevin to the seat. Which makes sense…!

      1. Very strange decision dont rate him at all.

    3. Well, it looks like Renault has just been too late to sign a worthy replacement driver. They clearly do not want a rookie in their car, so the only options were Palmer, Nasr and Gutierrez (I’m not counting Ericsson, he tries to act he has ‘options’, but thats all nonsense, as his sponsors bought a big chunk of the Sauber team). They probably could have signed Bottas, Perez, Sainz and Kvyat, but Renault decided to wait.

      I would not be surprised if Nasr signs at Haas. Bernie needs a Brazilian driver in F1, and Haas kind of needs a driver from the American continents. That would leave a Sauber seat open (and 1 or 2 Manor seats), and this is where Magnussen could have gambled wrong. I think he was first choice at Renault, but that Haas seat might be going to Nasr. Sauber will more likely sign a driver that brings more money to the table.

      I could be wrong, but does not make sense to me for Haas to sign 2 European drivers.

    4. @osvaldas31 To me the real question is why would Haas want Magnussen? Grosjean and Magnussen? Either of the SFI’s or any other current youngster shows more promise than a guy that got beaten by Guti and one that did not beat Button.

      1. than a guy that got beaten by Guti

        Was Grosjean really beaten @peartree?
        Afaik, Grosjean has 29 points to his name, and Gutiérrez 0. Sure, the Frenchman has been beaten to a string of 11th place finishes, but that doesn’t matter in F1.

  2. The news leaves Kevin Magnussen without a seat for next season.

    The article at speculates that Magnussen will partner Grosjean at Haas, and that Ocon will take the remaining Force India seat.

    If that does happen, that would leave Sauber and Manor with an unconfirmed driver line-up, and with Manor also missing a driver (might Gutierrez move here?).

  3. So next year’s grid will look like:

    Mercedes – Hamilton, Rosberg
    Red Bull – Ricciardo, Verstappen
    Ferrari – Vettel, Raikkonen
    Force India – Perez, Ocon
    Williams – Bottas, Stroll
    McLaren – Alonso, Vandoorne
    STR – Sainz, Kvyat
    Haas – Grosjean, Magnussen
    Renault – Hulkenberg, Palmer
    Manor – Wehrlein, Haryanto (?)
    Sauber – Nasr, Ericsson

    I’m genuinely excited for the Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren and Haas battles. Perhaps even Ferrari if Raikkonen can maintain his current form.

    1. Gaston (@gastonmazzacane)
      9th November 2016, 17:58

      Haas battles?

    2. Excited for the Mercedes line up lol.

      1. Well if Rosberg wins the title, the 2017 team dynamics will be very interesting.

        1. @hellotraverse Yeah very interesting indeed!

      2. They won’t (hopefully) be as dominant next year, and if NR wins 2016, that will make it more exciting than ever IMO

    3. Looking forward too seeing how Ocon develops in 2017

    4. I still believe Haas will have Grosjean and Nasr. I think Magnussen gambled wrong, as Sauber will sign a paydriver (that brings more money) when they lose Nasr.

  4. Almost as big a surprise as the USA election result.
    Anyway, according to some news sources Magnussen will go to Haas.

  5. @keithcollantine Keith; didn’t KMag accept a multi-year deal with Haas before Renault announced that they are keeping Palmer as a result?

    1. @IJW Yes, I think that you are right, I read a report like that on

  6. Theory: Mag was fed up with being Renaults choice of driver number 4 or much worse, so he ditched Renault for Haas. I think they offer him a 2 year contract with option for a third. As it was with Renault Mag knew that if their car will be succesful in 2017, they will be able to attract a more experienced driver for 2018 and Mag would probably get the boot by then. I’m still not sure Mag is good enough for F1, he has been a bit too inconsistent and he has not beaten Palmer convincingly every weekend, but lets see if he gets a seat with Haas, what he can show us there. And with next years changes a lot can happen.

    1. You forget some perimeters here:

      PAL was contracted with Lotus long before MAG – he was in the training practice many times in 2015 and driving the simulator all winter. MAG was starting from scratch after 1 year break from driving. So who was the real rookie here..
      MAG did beat PAL on all perimeters..points, qualify, fastest in practice sessions- compare to other teams no teammate is winning constantly – its almost technical impossible.
      And Renault offered MAG the 1 year contract first – MAG rejected wanted 2 year and then left for HAAS.. then PAL was the most interesting of the leftovers as his farthers wallet was the thickest…
      And one last thing – who says that PAL is a bad driver…I think he is a lot better than people thinks..

      1. Sorry Crash l dont agree with you, Palmer is 1 notch above Chilton at best imo and is a very lucky boy to stay in F1, another case of “Money doesn’t talk,it Swears!!!” Please Chase and Brawn start a fund/program that helps fund young talent…enough of the rich kids

        1. We can agree on the last – to many rich boys in F1 – want to see the one with talent…a money ceiling for new drivers could help this. ..

  7. The stars aligned for Palmer because Renault couldn’t get Ocon and couldn’t keep Magnussen. It is something of a shame that Palmer was only able to acquit himself as Renault’s fallback option, and given that Renault were not in the equation when he was first signed, there has been a tacit suggestion that Renault would not have chosen him.

    But Palmer has warranted a second season more than many other rookies in the past have, and given that the writing has looked to be on the wall for Jolyon ever since Ocon was tellingly picked to complete the post-race Barcelona test with teammate Magnussen, it is nice to see the team finally put some faith in him.

    1. …as for Gutierrez, I guess he has had better days…in more ways than one…

    2. I do agree that Palmer, after a slow start (we have to expect that a bit for a rookie really) he did get up to speed in the recent races, so giving him a second season will help him get into it and show his full potential @william-brierty.

      I am convinced that he was further down the list than KMag and Ocon and Hulk (and seemingly the likes of Bottas, Perez and possibly others), but it will be good to see him compared to Hulk now.

  8. It’s been a very weird silly season. Been scratching my head on several swaps. Like the Obama-Trump switch,…

  9. Palmer is an interesting one. He’s had some flashes of really great racecraft, and some pretty bad mistakes. Perhaps his second season, with a hopefully a better car, will go better.

  10. How can they keep Palmer. He hasn’t proven he can be an F1 driver. He cant be there on merit so maybe his dad has something to do with it. People are upset that Stroll got his seat as an *unproven pay driver. Palmer had his year to prove himself and he didn’t do it so I’m more upset about Palmer being in f1 than Stroll

    1. £100M reasons.

      I think Mag made a strange choice. Renault might win a race in 2017. Why not stay and take the fight with The Hulk.

      1. Next year he might not have the 2 year contract option he (apparently) have now. Plus we assume Renault will be a stronger team then Haas next year, but thatss still a guess. Haas could be a contender in 2017 or 2018 with Magnussen behind the wheel. If he stayed with Renault on a 1 year contract there’s a real chance that could be his last F1 season.

  11. Jo is certainly a last resort choice for Renault, bad thinking, they could have confirmed Kevin instead, De Vasseur must be scratching his chin for this very unproductive choice, apart from Hulk Renault has shot themselves in the leg once more, good luck Renault.

  12. Palmer or KMag doens’t matter that much. Both aren’t f1 material. I know KMag is an upgrade over Gutierrez, but i would expect Haas to find a more promising driver.

    1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
      10th November 2016, 1:51

      @thetick I know Werlhein is more linked to Merc than to Ferrari, and that might be a reason why Pascal has to stay in Manor instead of going to the more competitive Haas. And KMag is definitely a “meh” option if you consider Pascal as the other possible choice.

  13. Now all we need is Fred Nasr in a competitive Force India and oconand weirlein at the back for another season!

    Joking aside the field of F1 drivers is as strong as ever but there have been blockers for some of the real young talent getting in. Van Doorne will be 24 already and only just making his debut next year.

    If there was fairer distribution of prize
    Money – ala the premier league – then teams would surely select the best of the best in the world, not he’s some way there and has 40M along with him/her.

    1. Reganamer, given that some people have complained about drivers being rushed into F1 too quickly, you would have thought that letting a driver stay in a lower series for longer to mature as a driver would have been seen as a positive thing. Besides, he’s really not that much older than most of the other young drivers in the sport either – he’s only a couple of years older than Wehrlein, for example, and a comparable age to other highly rated drivers when they made their debut – so age isn’t really an issue.

  14. Well they couldn’t get Perez, Sainz, Ocon, Bottas or Magnussen so I suppose their sixth choice will do.

    In all seriousness whilst Palmer absolutely does not deserve a seat with a factory team, he has done a solid job this season. I suspect that this will be nothing more than a stop-gap thing though.

  15. Palmer isn’t my favourite (and by the looks of it, he wasn’t Renault’s either), but he’s done a good job this year considering the car he has. Kevin was better, but at this point, Renault has other things to worry about.

    I’m glad this means that Gutierrez is out of Haas. He didn’t deserve it in the first place, and KMag-Grosjean is quite a nice line-up if that’s finally confirmed.

  16. I never thought I’d be saying this, but Palmer deserves this seat. Of recent he has been able to outperform Magnussen and has scored a point in Malaysia, which was vital to this decision. He certainly is better than Nasr, who was the other candidate and is a more known quantity than Ocon. I believe he will be the new Sutil of F1, running around in mid field teams for a long career with his sixteen million budget and some talent

  17. Yes Palmer does deserve the seat….he has improved over the season in what was/is not the greatest car on the grid….and Mag has not shone as much as I expected….nor did he in Mclaren, which is why he was dropped…
    Although Renault (works team remember) with a interim car have not improved it very much and had mechanical disasters that should never have happened….one day……

  18. Of all the drivers who were linked with Renault I would have given Palmer the longest odds of securing the seat. I can only assume that this means that, had Magnussen not lost his patience and decided to go to Haas, he would have been in that seat.

  19. Really wish PAL good luck – think he got a lot more in his heart than Renault deserves..he will beat HUL – and then loose his seat anyway in 2018 for SAI, PER or OCO…hopefully he will continue in F.I. then…

  20. Maybe not such a strange call.

    Given that the quality experienced drivers are not available, they either had to get someone from outside F1 ranks or go for the best available option from the “available” list of current drivers.

    Palmer seems to stack up OK against the likes of Ericson, Nasr, Magnusson etc – not brilliant b a long stretch but about the same.

    However what he does bring, that the others don’t, is massive TV coverage from the sky team – something sponsors really love. That alone probably added to his attraction for Renault.

  21. Not surprised given some of what i’ve been hearing from some people at Renault.

    Contrary to many fans they see a lot of potential in Jolyon going forward & have been impressed with how he’s gone about working on improving the areas he was struggling with early on in the season (Fuel & tyre management) & his rate of progress through the year given difficult circumstances (How bad the car has been).
    Jolyon started out the year clearly behind Kevin in outright pace & race pace yet more recently Renault feel that Jolyon has been faster in both areas & has overall been the more consistent of the 2 since the summer break ended.

    The way it was put to me was that if you plotted a graph there is a clear upward trend from Jolyon in practically every aspect of his driving which is still on the upward trend while Kevin plateaued earlier in the year.

    1. I’m glad to hear that Renault see a lot of potential in him @gt-racer, that’s a positive – indeed he has been getting better, so let’s hope that next year in better car he can indeed show he’s a worthy teammate to Hulk.

  22. Maybe KMag has somewhat switched off because he is tired of the rubbish car and is heading to a new team. Sort of like how Ham went on vacation mode after securing the championship last year.

  23. Disappointed in Renault. Magnussen’s regularly been better than Palmer, scored better and arguably if points are on offer you’d bet on him to do it over Palmer. Maybe Palmer’s finances look better than Magnussen’s?

    Or maybe Magnussen wanted a longer term deal than just one year. Bah I’m disappointed, Hulkenberg/Magnussen would have been a fantastic lineup.

    1. Rumour has it that Magnussen wanted a 2 year deal, but Renault would only give him 1 year, since in 2018, Perez, Sainz Jr. and Bottas all become available. So he turned them down and signed a 2 year deal plus option with Haas, leaving Renault to take Palmer out of necessity, rather than choice.

  24. I half expected Renault and Magnussen to part ways. During the Austrian commentary of the last 2 or 3 races Alex Wurz has hinted at Magnussen skipping a couple of the last team meetings for no apparent reason. Tensions were definitely high between the team and Magnussen so it’s probably for the best.

  25. He is going to have a hard time racing aginst the Hulk. He will be no 2. If he is beaten in every race my guess is that his time in F1 is over.
    I am not convinced that it is the best choice career wise.

    A seat in Sauber would have perhaps been better for Palmer. Show his value and get experience, then aim for a better seat.

    1. PAL will do just fine against HUL – wait and see. PAL is a lot better than everybody think – don’t forget he has been driving Renault (Lotus) for 2 years and was in the simulator all winter..

  26. What a propaganda article AGAIN! Everyone knows that MAG was offered the contract first – but wasn’t satisfied with one year and then signed with HAAS – quote: “This leaves MAG without a seat” – its nonsens!!!! The news was on several medias all morning.. Comeon who writes these blue eyed articles..are they holding a Union Jacks in the hands while writing..
    this is not even journalism !
    Its a pure commercial Chanel for PAL and Renault – not a single qestion asked… sorry folks but if you eat this I would recommend Donald Duck tales for your next site…give the fans the right story, we are not idiots after all..

    1. Renault have announced Palmer will be driving for them, hence the story above.

      Haas have not announced Magnussen will be driving for them. Some publications are claiming they will, and that’s been covered in the round-up today:

  27. Journalism…timing…don’t anyone find it weird that PAL is announced as Renault driver hours after the news about the HAAS and MAG relation…maybe this could push just one motorsport journalist at f1fanatic to rise the question – was MAG your first choice? Or Was MAG offered a contract? Hopefully this media could supply the fans with real articles about this some Day…journalism..

  28. I like many am a bit surprised Jolyon is on the grid next year but also happy he is to get another shot at it. Yes he hasn’t been brilliant but certainly has got better in the latter half- not all drivers start off like, lets say, Lewis or Max did, some will improve and show their worth, others wont.

    He knows he wasn’t their first choice, far from it (Renault were even calling me for the seat :) and while I respect K-Mag to say stuff ’em and move on, Jolyon can either walk away or go to Manor or knows he has one more season there and impress others for 2018. I hope he does well.

  29. Agree PAL choices are limited…stay at your illoyal company or take a Manor…sure he takes the Renault- wondering where GUI will go…? Maybe the clever reporters from f1fanatic could ask somewhere in the paddock? On the other hand it will be better to wait for GUI to tell them…much easier…lol

    1. @crash – thx for the comedy value : you are hilarious. If you do not like the journalistic style of this place, can I suggest you “contribute” somewhere better.
      I think Keith is brilliant. This is the result of momentum : Jo has it, Kevin doesn’t – the recent data doesn’t lie.

      1. Ok ok ok – sure you must be right – this link is a falsum :-) lol lol lol

        1. You May take of your Union Jack hat for a moment..:-) your friend Keith didn’t do his job..actually he missed doing his job…he ate the bate…wake up – stop watching those Narnia movies..

          1. Not sure about the Union Jack hat as I am not British – looks like you are judging me by your own (pretty narrow minded and bias) standards. As I said, just look at the data since September and who has the momentum. A decision tends to be based on multiple parameters (in the world I live anyway). Are Renault desperate for cash ? I doubt it.

          2. Wake up – the decision is NOT – repeat NOT – made on data – its made on MAGs decision to choose Haas instead. PAL was not offered the seat before that- thats what it all about. I could fully understand if Renault gave the seat to PAL because of his momentum and data. Facts is that they gave it to MAG who rejected a 1 year and THEN gave it to PAL…I don’t care who got the seat, just want the right story…honest, objective journalism – hope you like that too in your part of the world…

  30. Agree PAL choices are limited…stay at your illoyal company who wants to sack you or take a Manor…sure he takes the Renault- wondering where GUI will go…? Maybe the clever reporters from f1fanatic could ask somewhere in the paddock? On the other hand it will be better to wait for GUI to tell them…much easier…lol

  31. So let’s see what Renault’s options were:
    1. Bottas
    2. Ocon
    3. Vandoorne
    4. Perez
    5. Magnussen
    6. Palmer

    So Palmer was Renault’s sixth choice. You really have to wonder where Renault is going when they have to settle for someone like Palmer for 2016.

    1. Exactly – they didn’t have a great start in F1… but still PAL could be better than HUL – time will show….

  32. Good news, in respect to the British having another driver on the grid. But, @keithcollantine, in the article you didn’t profess a personal opinion on Palmer’s driving skills. I know you are delivering the news to us but we are also frequenters of your site because we love to hear your insight.


  33. Another strong performance in FP3, looks like a pattern. Momentum is what got Palmer the drive I reckon. Data doesn’t lie. Oh and he out qualified Mag. That’s not journalism but that’s pretty objective. Even in my part of the world.

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