Renault 'very dependent' on Hülkenberg
17 June 2017 – Renault's fortunes in Formula 1 this year are "very dependent" on Nico Hülkenberg, according to Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul, who says Jolyon Palmer "has to deliver".
Hülkenberg joined Renault from Force India for 2017 and has captured all 18 of Renault's points this season, via four top 10 finishes, alongside a quartet of Q3 appearances.
Palmer, meanwhile, has been eliminated from Q1 on five occasions and has a best race result of 11th, which he achieved at Grands Prix in Monaco and Canada.
Palmer recently stated he was ignoring rumours over his future, but Abiteboul has stressed that he must contribute to Renault's tally, with the manufacturer over-reliant on his German team-mate.
"No one is safe in F1," Abiteboul told Autosport on the subject of Palmer's future.
"F1 is not an environment where anyone can say loudly, 'I'm safe'.
"To a certain degree there are two questions. There is Jo, and there is a second driver. Right now my focus is on Jo. Jo has to deliver.
"What would happen then, I don't want to elaborate on that, and even further, who would be stepping in, because that's absolutely not the point for today.
"The fact is that Jo has a car which is a points-scoring car, and he has to enter into the points. Full stop.
"Right now I feel that it's a bit almost unfair to Nico, who has to do a lot. The team is clearly very dependent on him."
Abiteboul added that Renault has to work with Palmer in order to address his current pace deficit.
"We see that there is a very substantial gap between Nico and Jo in qualifying, and in the race," Abiteboul went on to comment.
"We are discussing on a regular basis obviously with Jo to see how he can improve."
See also: Which F1 drivers need a big race?