Palmer: No hard feelings over Renault exit
8 October 2017 – Jolyon Palmer insists that he is happy to "move on" with his motorsport career after completing his final race for Renault at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Following the qualifying session at Suzuka, Palmer took to social media to announce that Sunday's Grand Prix would be his final outing for the team.
It was confirmed soon afterwards that Carlos Sainz Jr. would complete an early switch to Renault for the final four races of 2017, ahead of his already-confirmed 2018 move to the French marque.
Despite his adamance that he would finish the season with Renault, Palmer told Sky Sports that he respected the outcome and wished the team and Sainz Jr. well for the future.
"It's been pretty clear... Carlos has signed for next year and [Renault chief] Cyril [Abiteboul] made it clear that he wanted to put him in the car this year as well," said Palmer.
"After this race there's a couple of weeks gap, and it made sense for this time to be the time that we part ways.
"It's a shame to not finish the season, having been with the team for a while, but I respect the decision.
"I wish the team the best for the future, Carlos the best. We'll go our separate ways and I'll work on something else for my future."
Palmer added that the season-long speculation regarding his future had been "tough".
"I wouldn't say there's any relief [leaving the team]," he said.
"I would've loved to see out the season, to finish what I started.
"The stress level has been pretty huge this year, it's been a very tough season for many reasons.
"Each weekend, turning up with some question marks, with the pressure coming on more on more as the season hadn't unfolded like what we'd hoped.
"I'll move on, there's plenty to life out there, and I'm about to find out what it is."
Discussing his final race for the team, Palmer says he was pleased to see the chequered flag, despite being unable to catch Williams' Felipe Massa for the final points-paying position.
"I knew I was going to have an engine penalty here, and from 18th on the grid I think finishing 12th is about as good as we could have done," he commented.
"Apart from if we didn't have the VSC at the end, or we had one more lap, I was four seconds a lap quicker than Massa and right on his arse at the end.
"We maybe could have had a point, but nonetheless I'm happy to have seen the flag."