Jolyon Palmer insists that he is focussed solely on getting good results in the upcoming races, and is not thinking about what might happen to his Renault F1 seat in 2018.
Robert Kubica’s successful Budapest test has ramped up speculation about the possibility of the Pole returning to the Enstone team alongside Nico Hulkenberg, leaving Palmer out in the cold.
However, team boss Cyril Abiteboul has said that the Briton remains in the frame and can still influence his future with good performances in the second half of the season.
“Honestly I’m not even thinking about next year, I’m just focussed on this year still,” said Palmer.
“We’ve just gone half way through the season. Nine races to go, I’m focussed on doing the best I can in each one of them.
“It’s nice to hear that [from Cyril], but I’m in the same position as last year. Last year I was the same, I was here and not thinking about this year, just thinking about doing good races.
“I did good races, and then it all unfolded the right way. So I’m just focussed on doing nine good races now.”
Palmer is confident that he can repeat the pattern seen in 2016, when his strongest races came after the summer break.
“Last year I had a much better second half of the year than first half, and clearly I need to do the same. I know I can do it, it’s just trying to dig in, really push on, and start trying to put some results together. I did it last year, I can do it this year.
“I think the car is in a better place now, I’ve just got to do it on track.”
Palmer is hoping that the latest Renault power unit updates, which focus on software, will improve reliability.
“I think we can find performance even through reliability, especially on my side, I’ve missed so much mileage with problems. I would say we found the maximum a little bit earlier than we’d probably hoped on some components!
“That’s been the big push really this year, to try and improve the reliability. Since pre-season testing we had a lot of problems already. Hopefully this latest update can really improve that, and we can start to have no more issues for the rest of the year. It’s software.”
Source : MotorSport