Jolyon Palmer has admitted he is surprised that current Renault teammate Kevin Magnussen is moving to Haas for 2017.
Earlier in Brazil, Magnussen told reporters that he actually turned down Renault’s offer of a one-year contract extension in order to sign a longer deal.
“I’m surprised,” Briton Palmer, who has signed the one-year Renault deal instead, is quoted by Denmark’s Ekstra Bladet newspaper.
“I think he has made a mistake. We’re a factory team and we’ll be in front of Haas next year.
“It’s like if you get an offer to go to Red Bull for a year — it’s better than two years with Toro Rosso,” the Briton added.
When told about Palmer’s comments, Magnussen smiled: “I think he should be happy that I left.”
The Dane also played down Palmer’s claim that Renault is definitely a better choice than Haas.
“I don’t think they (Haas) were alone this year in having ups and downs,” he said. “That’s not really a problem.
“Or, if it’s a problem, it’s a problem that many people had,” said Magnussen.
As the news of Magnussen’s Haas deal became official, his father and former F1 driver Jan Magnussen admitted he is delighted for the 24-year-old.
“The agreement has a length where he can think more long-term for the development of the team, the car and himself,” said the former McLaren and Stewart driver.
“I can’t really answer for Kevin, but the American spirit meant a lot to me. I came to America after formula one and the spirit really lifted me up again. The Americans are better at that than the Europeans,” Magnussen snr told BT newspaper.
Meanwhile, Palmer admitted that he will have to perform in 2017 in order to safeguard his own future in F1.
“It’s understandable that Renault will see how I am going with Nico (Hulkenberg), but there is an option for the future and I believe in myself,” he said.