Kevin Magnussen made a mistake in turning down the offer to stay at the Renault F1 team next year, reckons his teammate Jolyon Palmer.
Magnussen said on Friday that he could have stayed at the French squad next year, but felt that the one-year deal he was offered was not good enough.
The Dane’s decision meant Palmer was retained to drive alongside Nico Hulkenberg next year.
Although the British driver benefited from Magnussen’s decision, Palmer admitted he was surprised the Dane had turned down the offer.
Magnussen has joined Haas on what is believed to be a two-year deal, but Palmer thinks the move is a mistake.
“I’m surprised to hear that, to be honest,” said Palmer on Magnussen’s decision. “I think if Renault turned to Kevin, he’s made a mistake to turn it down, because I think we’ll be ahead of Haas next year.
“It’s a manufacturer team going places. I think, if you get to for one year, it’s better than going for Toro Rosso for two years.
“I’m not sure if that’s definitely the case, but I don’t care because I’m in the seat for next year so nothing changes for me.”
When asked about Palmer’s comments, Magnussen said: “I think he should be happy that I left.”
“I think [Haas] has been hugely impressive what they’ve done in their first year. It’s not a team that’s taken over another team, they created a new team, a new group of people.
“I think that’s very impressive, very exciting.”
Palmer: I believe in myself
Although Palmer was also given a one-year deal, the Briton believes his chances of a longer stay at Renault are good as long as he performs next season.
“I need to do a good job next year,” he said. “It’s understandable for Renault that they still want to see how I can do against Nico.
“But I have an option for the future. I believe in myself and, in my opinion, the car is going to be stronger next year and then it’s up to me to do a good job and I have an option with Renault for the future.
“I believe in myself and if I do a good job and then we are part of the future.”
Palmer admitted it was a relief to have secured his future, but says that is no reason to stop pushing in the final two races of the year.
“It’s not like I’m relaxing. I still want to get the best results I can. It’s nice to know this race and Abu Dhabi that I will be in the car next year but I still want to have a good weekend. It’s nice but I’m keeping the pressure up.”
Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble