Palmer is the brother of Renault Formula One Team driver Jolyon Palmer and this will be his second season in the 2.0 single-seater category that down the years has produced so many of motor sport’s top names. He stays with the French R-ace GP team with which he finished seventh in 2016’s table.
“The main aim for 2017 is to win the championship," stated 20-year-old Palmer when asked what his goals are for the season ahead. He added: “I had a good learning year in 2016 and we ended it well with a win at the last round. We are looking to carry that momentum into this season and hit the ground running to mount a title challenge.”
Fewtrell moves to Formula Renault Eurocup after winning the British F4 title. The 17-year-old from Birmingham will line up for the Tech 1 Racing squad (also French) but, just like Palmer had to in 2016, he faces a year learning Formula Renault Eurocup’s circuits for the first time with its calendar mainly being made up of Europe’s Formula 1 tracks – notably two of its rounds will take place during Monaco Grand Prix weekend (see dates below).
Similarly young Cumbrian driver Bird also switches to Formula Renault Eurocup from British F4, but with the same team that also ran him in that category – Daventry-based Fortec Motorsports which is another of the top names in the pit lane.
“I am so happy to be with Fortec for the up and coming Eurocup season,” said Bird. “I know the season is going to be tough, but I will have a great team behind me and that gives me great confidence – I can’t wait for the season to start!”
However many eyes will be on Ticktum and Banbury-based team Arden Motorsport – founded by Red Bull F1 team boss Christian Horner and famous for many triumphs in international motor sport, but venturing into Formula Renault 2.0 for the first time in 2017.
Ticktum, aged 17 from London, only recently returned to racing after serving a lengthy ban but is very highly rated – so much so that he has become a Red Bull Junior Team driver.
The Formula Renault Eurocup title has been won by British drivers for the last years – Jack Aitken was crowned Champion in 2015 and was followed in 2016 by Lando Norris.
Calendar: 2017 Formula Renault Eurocup
21-23 April Monza, Italy
12-14 May Silverstone, Great Britain
19-21 May Pau, France (street circuit)
26-28 May Monaco GP (street circuit)
30 June-2 July Hungaroring, Hungary
14-16 July Nurburgring, Germany
21-23 July Red Bull Ring, Austria
25-27 August Paul Ricard, France
22-24 September Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
27-29 OctoberBarcelona, Spain