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Palmer holds the cards to his future - Abiteboul

Palmer still in at Renault if he 'turns around' season
© XPB 

Jolyon Palmer could remain with Renault next year, if the struggling driver successfully reverses his fortunes in the second half of the season.

Palmer's season has been dogged with mishaps, crashes and bad luck, preventing  the Brit from performing at the level his employer expects.

The 26-year-old 's performance is running far behind that of team mate Nico Hulkenberg, having failed to secure a single points-scoring finish to date or outqualify even once his German counterpart.

Pressure has been building for Palmer who is also forced to compose with rumors of his imminent replacement  by Robert Kubica, a threat dispelled however by team boss Cyril Abiteboul.

For the sake of stability, Renault could consider Palmer for 2018, but only if he gets his act together when the racing resumes at Spa at the end of the month.

"Frankly, if he manages to turn around the situation, which he did last year, we are completely open to a future between the team and Jo for one more season,” Abiteboul told Motorsport.com.

"Stability would be good for the team. That’s also what we wanted last year – to have Nico changing we wanted not to have to change two drivers.

"Things could go his [Palmer’s] way, but at the end of the day that’s in his hands.

"He knows that right now he’s on a one-year contract and completely understands the team has to assess its options for the future."

Abiteboul  is not calling into question Palmer's ability to perform, but rather his lack of confidence which the Frenchman admits is partly Renault's fault. 

"We’ve seen very good things with Jo, both during the winter tests, during the season, during a session," Abiteboul added. 

"At the same time there’s been a mix of mistakes, missed opportunities - clearly not assisted by circumstance with reliability that has been clearly weaker on his side of the garage. 

"Very rapidly what this sort of mix has created is, I believe, a lack of confidence – a lack of confidence in himself, a lack of ability to put his head down in the difficulties that will encounter any driver in a race weekend or in a season. 

"I’m really trying to protect Jo and to confirm to Jo almost on a daily basis my and the team’s commitment and full support in order to recreate the confidence in himself and in the team.

"It’s not the job of one day."

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