Southwater driver Jolyon Palmer’s Formula One future has been confirmed with the annoucement he will retain his seat with Renault for the 2017 season.
The British racer will team up with new addition Nico Hülkenberg to complete the team’s driver line-up despite big rumours he could have been on the way out.
The uncertain future came with last month’s news that Hülkenberg was to lead the French time this year and Palmer’s current team-mate Kevin Magnussen favoured to partner him.
Renault team principle Fred Vasseur had also spoken of growing interest in other drivers, but it appears they have made a dramatic U-turn with Magnussen set to join Haas.
Palmer, 25, said: “I’m over the moon to be racing with Renault Sport Formula One Team for a second season and I 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.”
He joined Renault Sport Formula One Team’s predecessor Lotus F1 Team as third driver at the start of the 2015 season, graduating to race driver for 2016.
To date - the 2014 GPS champion - has started 18 Grands Prix, scoring his first World Championship point at this year’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
Jérôme Stoll, Renault Sport Racing chairman said: “We are delighted to retain Jolyon as our driver for the 2017 season. 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.
“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.
“We thank Kevin Magnussen for his efforts in 2016 as he has done a great job for us this year. We wish him all the best for 2017 and beyond.”
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