Palmer dismisses talk he'll lose Renault seat to Sainz for Malaysia
|By Adam Cooper||Thursday, September 14th 2017, 10:59 GMT|
Jolyon Palmer has dismissed speculation he could be replaced at Renault as early as the Malaysian Grand Prix and insists his contract will ensure he completes the 2017 Formula 1 season.
Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr is about to be confirmed as a Renault driver for 2018 as compensation for the Red Bull junior team ending its engine supply deal with the French manufacturer early.
Sainz has been linked with a switch to Renault, which will supply McLaren with engines next season as Honda switches to a deal with Toro Rosso, as early as the next race in Malaysia.
Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly added weight to the rumour when he hinted he had a chance of driving for Toro Rosso at Sepang, should Sainz switch early, but sources suggest that Renault has not been able to complete a deal to get Sainz before next year.
"I have a contract," said Palmer. "I've got seven more races this year.
"There have been suggestions for 35 races that I might be not in the next one, or in the next few.
"It's nothing new for me, it is water off a duck's back.
"It is the same, I think most races this year it's been the same, so nothing has changed.
"I've got seven races to do, I'll be in Malaysia, I'll be racing until Abu Dhabi."
While Renault team-mate Nico Hulkenberg has netted 34 points this season Palmer is yet to score at all, and has also had to contend with speculation Robert Kubica could take his Renault seat for 2018.
Asked about his prospects for next year, Palmer said: "I don't care too much to talk about it.
"I know what is happening, I think there will be an announcement probably some point in the future, not too long.
"I haven't thought too much, but I am excited for what is to come."
Palmer also reiterated his stance since the summer break that he was keeping his focus on the short-term.
"I have seven races this year to try and do the best I can," he said.
"Obviously it's been a tough year, I think the last two races were better even it didn't show in the end.
"I think the performance has been there or thereabout.
"Hopefully the car will better on this track and we can finally get some points."