Column: Palmer fighting for his F1 future

Published on 02 Jun 2017 17:01

After staying with Renault for a second consecutive season in 2017, Jolyon Palmer is a man who is coming under a more and more pressure to deliver in Formula 1. So far in 2017, Palmer has been outclassed by his team mate, Nico Hulkenberg, who joined the team from Force India to take the place of Kevin Magnussen.

In the first six races of the year, Palmer has been out-qualified by Hulkenberg in all of them, with his best result in qualifying coming at the Bahrain Grand Prix where he got into Q3 for the first time in his career, only to end the session nearly 1.3 seconds slower than Hulkenberg.

On race day, the story is much the same, with Palmer failing to finish inside the points in any of the first six races of 2017 as opposed to Hulkenberg who has secured 14 points so far this season in an identical car.

 Although reliability has played a part in Palmer’s performance this season, the British driver has not helped the situation in many instances, crashing in FP2 in Australia, Qualifying in Russia, and being involved in a first lap accident at the Russian Grand Prix with Romain Grosjean in the second corner.

Last time out in Monaco, Palmer did have an encouraging result by finishing in 11th around a circuit that he has traditionally run well at, having won there in 2012 and in 2014 in the GP2 Series. Although this is Palmer’s highest finish of 2017 so far and his second highest finishing position in his career, results and points finishes need to come soon if the driver wants to hold onto his seat.

Over the past week, multiple drivers have been linked to Palmer’s seat, with Sergio Perez not only being linked to the seat for 2018 but apparently to replace Palmer this season. As the Mexican driver is in contact with Force India until the end of 2017 however, a mid-season move does not look probable. If Palmer is to be replaced at Renault, it will most likely be by Sergey Sirotkin who is Renault’s reserve driver.

As Formula 1 heads to Canada for the seventh round of the 2017 season, all eyes will be on Jolyon Palmer to see if he can deliver greater performances for Renault as the fight for his Formula 1 future begins, with Cyril Abiteboul expecting “two drivers who are able to score points” and deliver results for Renault - something that Palmer is currently failing to do.


Chris Soulsby

Replies (4)
SE calle.itw 02 Jun 2017 18:57+1
Posts: 2394
A good article, and Im glad you put your name on it.

Its unfortunate, but Palmer hasnt really impressed me. He has had more than one season, and he has been utterly dominated. He has had his chance, and I just dont think he is F1 material. A pity, because he seem like a decent bloke.
GB Chris Soulsby 02 Jun 2017 20:21+1
Posts: 12
Thank you!

Yeah, it is a shame because before coming to Formula 1 he looked very impressive in GP2. He did start to match Magnussen at the end of last season but for 2017, it feels like Palmer has taken steps backwards. If he can get into the points in Canada that would be great, but regardless of what he does for the rest of the year, I feel that his fate is already decided for 2018.
SE calle.itw 02 Jun 2017 23:060
Posts: 2394
Yeah, its a bit odd. I wonder if the pressure is getting to him. To be fair, its hard to get close to Hulk once he is on a roll, but even when taking that into consideration, he has been quite pale this season. I agree that his fate looks sealed, but who knows? And if he does leave F1, maybe he'll do better in a different series. He does have talent, and maybe he can utilize it better in a different series.
GB Chris Soulsby 03 Jun 2017 20:520
Posts: 12
I'd like to see him in F1 past this year because I like Palmer but I just don't think it'll happen. And yeah, if he does leave F1, then I'm sure he can achieve greater success in another series. Maybe Formula E or IndyCar. Max Chilton has done well in the series after leaving F1 so maybe Palmer could do the same.

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