Jolyon Palmer says that reports that he will be replaced at Renault at the Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix are false, as his contract lasts for the remainder of the season.
Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr has been touted as Palmer’s replacement at Renault, the manufacturer which is expected to supply McLaren with engines from 2018, as Toro Rosso switches to Honda power units.
Palmer is yet to score a point this season, sitting 19th in the drivers’ standings above Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and stand-in Antonio Giovinazzi while team-mate Nico Hulkenberg has scored 34 points in 10th place.
“I’ve got a contract for six or seven more races this year,” said Palmer during the Thursday press conference of the Singapore GP.
“There’s been suggestions running for about 35 races that I might not be in the next one. it’s nothing new to me it’s water off a duck’s back now and it’s the same for most races this year and nothing’s changed.
“I don’t care too much to talk about it,” said Palmer in response to a question asking whether he had a “Plan B” if he is to be replaced so soon.
“I know what’s happening. I think there’ll be an announcement at some point soon about what’s happening for me.
“I’m excited about the future. I haven’t thought too much but I’m excited about what’s to come.
“I’ll be in Malaysia, and I’ll be racing until Abu Dhabi. I’ve already said the same.”
Palmer is likely to be replaced for 2018, however, if not at the Malaysian GP, but the Renault driver stressed that he was committed to his current role at Renault with a view to scoring points.
“Well firstly I’m just focused on doing the job that I’m doing, so i try not to pay any attention to that sort of thing.
“I have seven races to try and do the best I can. Obviously it’s been quite a tough year but the last two races have been much better.
“Even if they didn’t show in the end, the performance has been there or thereabouts, so hopefully the car will be better on these tracks and we can finally get some points.”
This season his Renault has suffered five retirements and in four races Palmer has been the first driver to retire from the race. When asked whether this lack of reliability has hampered his ability to prove his talents and score points, Palmer agreed: “Clearly when the car’s not working you cant drive it, you can’t try to score some points.
“There’s been a few places: Silverstone for example I didn’t even start the race, that was a strong race for us; Baku, I think 11 cars finished and the Sauber got the points and we broke down after five or six laps.
“It’s not ideal to have that level of reliability problems, also in practices it puts you on the back foot for the weekend.
“The team’s working quite hard to try and fix it.
“Every time something happens we’re finding out why, learning from it and we keep getting different problems, but hopefully we’ve put a stop to that now and, like i said, the car’s going to be strong, especially in these last few races.
“We’re going to have a good car, good reliability and good performance and hopefully I can show what I can do and score some points.”
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