Renault are reportedly considering dropping Jolyon Palmer mid-season after the Brit’s poor start to the 2017 campaign.
Palmer endured another torrid weekend in Azerbaijan after crashing in Friday practice before an engine fire on Saturday morning ruled him out of qualifying, forcing him to start the race from the back of the grid.
The Brit’s bad luck continued during Sunday’s race with the Renault driver forced to retire on lap seven with a second engine problem of the weekend.
The DNF for Palmer means he is yet to score a single point this season while his teammate Nico Hulkenberg has amassed 18 points with Renault now only above Sauber and McLaren in the Constructors Championship.
With pressure mounting on the Brit, rumours in the paddock have suggested Palmer could lose his seat after the Hungarian Grand Prix in late July with Renault’s reserve driver, Sergey Sirotkin, being lined up to take his seat.
There was speculation that Robert Kubica was in the frame to replace the struggling Brit following a successful private test with Renault in Valencia earlier this month but the Enstone based team has ruled this out.
Renault F1 managing director, Cyril Abiteboul, stated over the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend that Renault are fully behind Palmer and are committed to helping the Englishman through his recent struggles.
Despite, Abiteboul’s comments, sources in the paddock have said that Palmer has been warned by Renault that he has to start scoring points for the team or face losing his seat mid-season.
Picture courtesy of Sky Sports F1