Renault are considering replacing their current driver line-up of Kevin Magnussen and Joylon Palmer for the 2017 Season. It hasn’t been a great season for both the Danish and British driver who have one of the least competitive cars on the grid despite having the second most powerful engine.
A works team like Renault have the resources to build competitive cars and buy in star drivers but the 2016 season is essentially about transitioning from buying out Lotus F1.
Red Bull who are supplied with Renault engines have demonstrated the Renault Hybrid engine is getting more powerful.
The Renault engine powering the Red Bulls still doesn’t have the firepower to beat the Mercedes but there is enough to be consistently in contention for podium finishes.
But in Formula One you are judged on how best you make of the situation and it can be argued that both Magnussen and Palmer haven’t exactly set the world on fire.
The Renault works team have been back-of-the-field contenders for most of the season and both drivers have been occasionally erratic and often off the pace.
Palmer for one has been both erratic on more than one occasion which is to be expected from rookie driver in his first season.
But in F1 there is no place to hide, each competitor is regarded as one of the best 22 drivers in the world. But if a driver lacks pace then it’s game over there is no future in F1.
Palmer will not be re-signed by Renault for 2017, he lacks pace. Magnussen may well be given another season but team Renault have yet to confirm anything so far.
Renault Team principle Cyril Abiteboul is adamant that both his drivers are in good form saying recently, “We will have to see how the season is panning out, but they are doing a good job with the hardware they are given, frankly.”
Reports are circulating that Renault is looking to sign Sergio Perez and Valtterri Bottas. Magnussen has finished 7th having scored Renault’s only world F1 championship points so far.
Palmer’s best finish to date is 11th but Renault might not be willing to wait too much longer as they head to the next race in Belgium seeking to evaluate Esteban Ocon.
The 19 year old Ocon will make his racing debut for the Manor Racing team and has already participated in the 2014 Abu Dhabi GP during the first free practice before Renault took over the then Lotus F1 team.
If Ocon performs well then it may be game over for Palmer.