Jolyon Palmer says his place in the rebranded Renault Sport Racing team was never in doubt as he looks ahead to a maiden F1 season in a team with substantially greater resource than originally anticipated.
Having spent the 2015 season as a reserve driver with the financially-troubled Lotus team, Palmer was promoted to a race drive with the outfit for 2016, only for it to be purchased by Renault for its return to F1 as a constructor.
Though team-mate Pastor Maldonado was dropped in favour of Kevin Magnussen, Palmer – who says his seat was never in doubt – will remain to make his F1 debut under the Renault banner.
Indeed, having eased himself into the Lotus drive with the benefit of financial backing, with Renault now providing the support, Palmer is excited to be competing against the backdrop of stronger financial support.
“For me there wasn't. When I signed my deal it was with Renault as well, I signed with Lotus and signed with Renault. So I knew where I stood, the uncertainty was just whether Renault was actually going to go through with buying the team.
“When that was confirmed it was a very exciting time and we'll see now the level of dedication that they've got and it's great to be a part of it.”
Indeed, Palmer feels the Enstone-based squad has an excellent opportunity to progress now having enjoyed podium winning success in 2015 despite 'no funding'.
“It's a great team, I know the Enstone guys very well, I've already been with them for a year and the team spirit they've got is maybe the best in the whole paddock. Last year was very tough with Lotus with no funding but the team really pulled through and showed what they could do, even getting a podium with no budget at all.
“So now I think with Renault's support and investment I think there's going to be a lot that is going to be possible so I'm sure Kevin is going to really enjoy it here as well.”