Jolyon Palmer is reportedly coming under pressure to hang on to his race seat at Renault.
Speed Week reports that the British rookie’s so-far pointless 2016 campaign, culminating in him finishing dead last in China, has raised the possibility that the French carmaker could promote its reserve driver Jolyon Palmer.
“Some even suggest he (Palmer) could now be on his last chance,” claimed correspondent Mathias Brunner ahead of the Russian grand prix.
While actually under long-term contract to Mercedes, 19-year-old Frenchman Ocon is highly regarded by Renault team boss Frederic Vasseur, for whom he drove to the title in GP3 last year.
Palmer, the 2014 GP2 champion, inherited his Renault race seat after signing a deal for the Enstone team’s predecessor Lotus last year, and admitted he was embarrassed to finish dead last in Shanghai two weeks ago.
“I have to admit that I’m in a learning process,” he is quoted as saying.
“My aim now is to get back to my level of Melbourne, where I was pleased with my race.”