Renault has applied even more pressure to their driver Jolyon Palmer amid the Brit's struggles at the team. The 2014 GP2 champion has failed to match the pace of Nico Hulkenberg this season and now finds himself at risk of losing his F1 seat for next season.
Waiting in the wings are Sergey Sirotkin, Robert Kubica, Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz, who have all been thrown in contention for the seat. Palmer joined the team at the start of 2016 but has found life in F1 difficult, picking up just 1 career point last year in Malaysia.
"Jolyon must deliver," boss Abiteboul told the French broadcaster Canal Plus. "He has a contract for the year, now he has to deliver like everyone else," he added. "The obligation was first on the team -- we had to give him a car that runs well to allow him enough kilometres to do a good job on the weekend, which we did.
"There was really our priority to have reliability, which was putting pressure on us. We put pressure on him as well but it must be positive. So I will not start making threats on a driver who does not need that at this stage," Abiteboul said.