Even so such things take time to work out, and before the deal was completed you’d have expected that Renault would have told Jolyon Palmer that the team wouldn’t be requiring his services in 2018.
According to Palmer though, that wasn’t the case. Although he said he had a feeling he wasn’t going to retain his seat, the first news he heard of Sainz replacing him was when he read about it online.
“I knew when I read it on Autosport. And then I knew it was true as well, I spoke to some people. That was it. Of course I knew that with the job I’ve done this year, the team is looking for other people, because it’s been a tough year. But you never know until it’s over, I could have felt the same way at times last year as well.
“I’m still focused on trying to do the best I can every time I get in the car. Nothing changes, I still want to go out with my head held high, and finish the year as well as I can. There’s nothing to lose. It’s just a chance for me to show what I can do.”
Despite the uncertainty surrounding his drive, Palmer also said that he hasn’t really been looking at his options for 2018 and that he’s not too worried about his future.
“I haven’t thought too much. I’m quite excited for next year, I know it’ll be something different, I know what I’m not going to be doing. I’ve got a bit of time to try and decide. I’m not worried about anything in the future. It’s an exciting time. Obviously I’ve only known this for not that long a time. I’ve been focusing on staying with Renault still. Now obviously that isn’t happening, and I can look at other opportunities inside and outside of F1. I’m in no rush to decide what I’m going to do.”
There have been some rumours that Sainz could take over Palmer’s seat as early as the Malaysian GP. However it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen now, so at least he’s got seven races left to try and end his season on a bit of a higher note.
A fat lot of good burning those lucky underpants did him, then!