Renault has officially confirmed it will be retaining British driver Jolyon Palmer for the 2017 Formula 1 season.
As Motorsport.com reported earlier today, Palmer, 25, has been picked as Nico Hulkenberg’s teammate in the French manufacturer’s works line-up for next year.
“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,” Palmer said.
“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.”
The Briton, a GP2 champion back in 2014, graduated to a Formula 1 seat with Renault after a year as test driver for predecessor team Lotus.
While he initially trailed Kevin Magnussen in the early days of his rookie campaign, Palmer edged closer to his Danish teammate as the year went on. He scored his first point in F1 in the Malaysian GP at Sepang.
“We are delighted to retain Jolyon as our driver for the 2017 season,” said Renault Sport Racing Chairman Jerome Stoll.
“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 Hulkenberg 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.”
Magnussen and long-time Renault target Esteban Ocon – the two drivers who have been Palmer’s main rivals in the fight for the second Renault seat following Hulkenberg’s signing – are set to race for Haas and Force India respectively.
“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,” Stoll added.