It’s getting close to Silly Season and that means the rumors will start flying in the Formula 1 paddock. In fact, if French paper L”Equipe is a bellweather for such things, Silly Season has already begun.
Fans and journalists alike have been wondering what the likelihood of Renault driver Jolyon Palmer remaining at the team or even in F1 is. The British driver has had a difficult two seasons so far and hasn’t been able to shadow his teammate or best him with any regular basis.
There have been mechanical issues that have scuttled his weekend but the team knows what those are and are best placed to know when he should deliver but didn’t. It all adds up to a questionable reality as a Renault driver and I am not sure who might pick him up if he did lose his ride in 2018.
One name that the report does target as a replacement is Sergio Perez and that’s a good bid in my estimation. Sure, the Mexican looked a little ragged in Monaco, but I’d rather have a driver that I have to reign in than one I have to kick the arse of.
Perez is also being whispered as an alternative to Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari and certainly given their current form, Perez would prefer that ride to Renault but I still can’t discount the French team’s ability to recover in 2-3 years’ time. They are a works team, let’s not forget.
If Renault couldn’t lure Sergio away from Force India or a Ferrari ride, I still believe they should re-engage Carlos Sainz and my long shot, if Fernando doesn’t renew at McLaren for the Indy 500 opportunity, would be Alonso. The allure of another Indy 500 attempt and possible Le Mans ride is awful compelling though.
Either Sainz or Perez would make a terrific combination punch for Renault as they have Nico Hulkenberg as well. Would you look at someone else? If so, who would that be?
Hat Tip: L’Equipe