There is a huge dollop of irony to the fact that Jolyon Palmer scored the best result of his Formula 1 career at the recent Singapore Grand Prix, a couple of days after it was announced that he would be replaced at Renault by Carlos Sainz for 2018.
Palmer was the 2014 GP2 Series Champion, but his promotion to Formula 1 has not been kind to his reputation and the stats of two points scores in 33 race starts is hardly the stuff that will entrench a driver in Formula 1.
Nevertheless the 26 year old is now resigned to his plight and is keen to go out on a high with point scoring performances in the remaining six races.
Speaking ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix, Palmer said, “I want to go out with my head held high and prove I can do the job. At the end of the day the decision has been made so I’ve got six races to do what I can and I’ve got the kit to do the job.”
“I’ve got a car that can score points and I am focused on doing the best job that I can. I would have loved it if the team had signed me for next year but with the way that the season has gone it is understandable that it has not happened. It has been a tough year all round.”
Amid reports that he will be replaced by Sainz in Malaysia, Palmer is sure he will be at the forthcoming races, with sources close to him suggesting that he turned down a substantial cash incentive to vacate the seat earlier than stipulated in the rock solid contract he has with Renault.
Palmer said, “The next couple of races should be good for us and even stronger than Singapore. I’m still excited for the performance we’ve got as a team and still excited to be racing in a competitive car that I think is the fourth best, especially when we move on to the next few tracks, so there is a lot to be encouraged by.”
With regards to 2018, a return to the Formula 1 grid is still possible as there are a couple of seats still available on the grid, however many drivers are also in contention for these.
Palmer has financial backing behind him for a seat, and should he salvage his career it will be most likely with Williams but even such a scenario is a very long shot for the Briton.
“I’m not worried about next year,” insists Palmer.
Big Question: Does Jolyon deserve another year if Formula 1?