Jolyon Palmer’s upturn in form for the second-half of the season has helped him secure a second year with Renault, who are expected to have more regularity in the points for 2017.
Up to the tenth race this season at Silverstone, Palmer had only managed to finish ahead of the Haas-bound Kevin Magnussen on three occasions. Since the halfway point, the Brit has scored a Championship point and ran much closer to his Danish teammate, beating him four times and showing enough promise to secure what will be a stronger seat next season.
Team Principal Fred Vasseur has been matter-of-fact about his expectations of Palmer next season though by recently saying,
“It is clear that Nico is a good reference, because he has had a pole position. Jo has the opportunity to show his potential. He will have a very strong reference and if he is able to match with Nico, then we will continue like this.
If you look at what he did in the past in different series, he was always improving. When he won GP2, his championship finishing positions were 20th, 13th, 6th and 1st.”
– Fred Vasseur
Taking away the difficulty of driving a 2016 Renault RS19, it has been a difficulty this season to determine Palmer’s performances. Given Magnussen’s absence in 2015, it has been difficult to rate each driver in the obscurity of accurately defining how well each driver has performed relative to the shortcomings of this year’s Renault.
That won’t a problem next year, as Vasseur points out. Nico Hulkenberg is a well known quantity in Formula One. If Palmer can hold his own against the highly-rated German, then he may find himself as a long-term fixture in the revival of the Championship-winning works team.