British driver Palmer has produced some outstanding performances in the second half of his debut F1 season in the team’s R.S.16 car.
This has included getting through to ‘Q2’ in qualifying (Germany, Belgium, Japan and the USA) while in the races he came agonisingly close to a break-through maiden point in Hungary before achieving it in Malaysia. He was not a million miles away again in Japan. He then impressed many in Mexico with his 70-lap stint on one set of tyres.
Renault Sport’s decision to stick with Palmer has been welcomed by F1 fans and media alike. The 25-year-old is the son of former F1 racer Jonathan Palmer (now owner of the Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Cadwell Park and Snetterton circuits and Bedford Autodrome).
Former F1 World Champion Damon Hill tweeted: “Congrats Jolyon. Keep pushing”
Sky F1 commentator Martin Brundle also tweeted: “Good news for British F1 fans. Jo earned this opportunity. Rate of improvement will be interesting next year and @HulkHulkenberg is fast”
Palmer commented: “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.
“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.”
Jérôme Stoll, Renault Sport Racing Chairman, said: “We are delighted to retain Jolyon as our driver for the 2017 season. 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 Hülkenberg 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. 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.”