The Renault Sport F1 Team have confirmed Jolyon Palmer will remain with the team for the 2017 season. Palmer will line up alongside Nico Hülkenberg with the power of fully redeveloped Renault Power Unit as the team set about restoring their reputation as leaders in the sport.
Speaking on the confirmation 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.”
Renault Sport Racing Chairman added:
“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.”
It is widely expected Kevin Magnussen will join the Haas F1 team for 2017 and beyond.
Following confirmation that Nico Hulkenberg will be joining the Renault Sport F1 team from 2017, Kevin Magnussesn has taken to social media to confirm his future intentions.
In a series of tweets posted earlier this morning, Magnussen seeks to put to bed rumours of a possible move to Indycar and restates his desire to remain part of the Renault Sport F1 team future. In that this news is coming from Kevin himself with no comment from the team it is possible to conclude there are other drivers in the running for his seat in 2017.
Current team mate Palmer is thought to have an outside chance of retaining his position within the team. Bottas and Ocon are also known to be contenders. The performance of the Renault power unit with Red Bull Racing this season suggests a fully funded works Renault team can expect to be competitive in the near future making this, the only works seat available on the grid, an promising prospect.
Renault Sport Formula One Team suffered a disappointing double retirement from an eventful Monaco Grand Prix. Kevin Magnussen showed promising progress with an early swap to intermediate tyres after a race start on full wet tyres behind the safety car. Kevin’s potential was ultimately undone by an unfathomable onslaught from a one-lap-down Daniil Kvyat. He continued to race but subsequently ended up in the barriers again and retired from the Grand Prix. Jolyon Palmer’s race was far shorter, ending after aquaplaning into the barriers on the main straight, then into the barriers at Sainte Devote on the eighth lap.
Kevin Magnussen, #20, R.S.16-02: Started P16, DNF
“We had a good start to the race and made a really good strategic call to change to the intermediate tyres just after the safety car. We were the only ones to do it so early and it was the right decision. We were in a good position as a lot of people were still to pit and we gained a lot of places. Unfortunately, Kvyat just lost his mind and crashed into me and that was effectively the end of my race. We did continue and made an early change to slicks as we had nothing to lose, but ultimately I hit the wall and damaged the front wing. We were several laps down at that point and the car had been in the wars so it was safer to retire. It’s a shame we didn’t have a good weekend as we were very optimistic for the race. Now we have to shift our focus to Canada and have a better weekend there. Montréal should be a stronger track for us and should play to the strengths of the updates for the car.”
Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.16-03: Started P18, DNF
“The traction was appalling after the safety car and I got caught out. I had wheelspin in fifth gear on the white line that crosses the track. There was nothing I could do – I was just a passenger and went straight away into the wall. It’s so difficult as we know that the white lines are slippery but they are everywhere. I’m disappointed as I love this track and it’s been good for me in the past. But I’m now looking forward to Canada and putting this weekend behind me. Monaco hasn’t been good to me this year so we need to move on to the next race and look for a better weekend.”
Fred Vasseur, Racing Director
“It was a tough weekend for both cars. Jolyon’s race ended on the straight as soon as the race got underway. He had a pretty serious shunt, a fast one, and that put an end to his day; there was nothing to be done. For Kevin, he asked to swap to intermediates pretty early in the race which was a good call, despite suffering from being in traffic for a while. His race effectively ended thanks to the incident with Kvyat which is a shame especially as there may have been something to be done from where he was ranked as we had a strategy that was slightly out of step from everyone else’s. In any case, we’ll go lick our wounds and move our focus to Canada.”
Spectator footage has emerged revealing how close a second set of teammates came to colliding at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday. In the final lap of the Grand Prix Renault Sport F1 team teammates Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen came within centimetres of colliding in the final sector of the lap.
Battling over 13th place Jolyon, running heavily warn hard compound tyres came under intense pressure from Kevin, running fresh soft compound tyres, was forced to take avoiding action to avert a race ending collision for both cars, following a questionable overtaking attempt from the Dane.
The incident was not captured in the world feed broadcast, but was caught be spectators in this footage:
Whilst unnoticed by the world feed the incident was seen by the FIA, Kevin Magnussen was awarded a 10 second penalty to his finishing time demoting him to 15th place in the overall race standings.
The post race stewards report commented:
“Car 20 [Magnussen] was on a new set of soft tyres, and Car 30 [Palmer] was on an older set of hard tyres leading the driver of Car 20 to have significantly better grip and speed. However, the Stewards determined that Car 20 could not have reasonably expected to make the corner of Turn 13 without colliding with Car 30, which was subsequently forced off the track.
“The Stewards imposed the penalty referred to, which was converted to a time penalty after the race as the cars were on the last lap”
Neither team or driver have formally commented on the incident.
Tyre failures, flat batteries, low grip, and pressure loss! Any superstitious members of the Renault F1 Team will be happy to see the back of running on Friday 13th.
Esteban Ocon got his first running in the R.S. 16 during FP1 for the Spanish Grand Prix. Unfortunately the session was cut short without Ocon having the opportunity to set a representative lap time:
Esteban: “I was really looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the R.S.16 so it was a shame that Friday the Thirteenth decided to pick on the team and I! I did get a brief amount of time in the car, but I didn’t even get a timed lap so it’s too early for any real thoughts about driving the car as I didn’t have an opportunity to really push. The team could see the tyre was losing pressure so I was brought in. I waited in the garage until I could go back out on the next set of tyres then the battery had an issue so it definitely wasn’t my day!”
Ocon will be back behind the wheel of the R.S 16 in day two of the post race weekend test next week.
Jolyon Palmer took over from Ocon in FP2, but seemed to carry to Frenchman’s poor luck into the session.
Jolyon “That was pretty unfortunate. We don’t know what caused the puncture and it was frustrating to lose so much track time. We thought we might not be able to get out again after the car was recovered, however my crew was able to do a fantastic job to repair the damage so I’m thankful for those laps at the end of the session. Fortunately, Barcelona’s a track I know well so I’m looking forward to a busy day behind the wheel tomorrow.”
Despite these issue’s Palmer was able to set a time good enough for 17th in FP2 completing 16 laps in total.
Kevin Magnussen certainly had a bit more luck than his team mates finishing 11th and 14th in FP1 and 2 respectively. Despite this progress in performance for the team Kevin was keen to make clear grip remains a critical issue
Kevin “Grip levels felt pretty low in the morning but things improved through the day. It looks like I was definitely on the lucky side of the garage today so I hope the luck holds for the rest of the weekend. We’ve got a good idea of where we want to go after today and I think our pace is around where we expected it to be.”
Kevin Magnussen reviews his first race for the Renault Sport F1 team and previews the Bahrain Grand Prix.
How was your first race with Renault Sport Formula One Team ?
Having been out of F1 for a year, it was very nice to be back. It was a tough race, but I was really happy as the pace was very good. It was annoying to get that puncture at the start, which compromised our race. I didn’t have any contact as far as I could tell, but I saw the pressures coming down and knew that something was wrong. In some respects we were lucky to get the red flag, but it was even better that Fernando was unhurt as that was a big crash. We could get back to the pits and on to the grid and then I had the race from there. We had a good pace – on par with Williams and maybe even faster. We didn’t think we would have the pace of the top ten, but in the end we did. I’m gutted as we could possibly have been in the points if I had not had that puncture, but that’s life. For a first race, it looks very encouraging for the rest of the season.
What did you think of the R.S.16 ?
The feeling in the car was good and I was able to fight and overtake and put the car where I wanted to. It’s clearly very driveable. It is not fast enough to be on the podium or even in Q3 but it’s a good car that handles well and it’s something we will continue to work on. We don’t need to change the philosophy in any way, just keep developing and it will come to us.
What did you make of your new team in race trim ?
It is very clear that this team is a top team in F1. Maybe not in terms of pace : we know where we are and we are not happy with this, but when we get the car faster we will be there. We have a good baseline and something we can really work on. I didn’t have a good race but I am very happy as it looks good for the rest of the season.
The next race is Bahrain, is it a favourite race for you ?
It’s not the most exciting track, to be honest ! The heat is a major challenge and it is tough on the rear tyres so having a car that looks after them will be an advantage. There are also four long straights so it is a power orientated track. I will enjoy getting out there and if you ask me if the race could be tomorrow I’d be there, no questions asked!