Jolyon Palmer says he is unconcerned by the perceived threat to his F1 drive with Renault from Esteban Ocon amidst speculation the youngster is being lined up for a seat in 2017.
The former GP2 Series champion has endured a difficult start to his F1 career as he struggles with the relatively uncompetitive Renault RS16, Palmer now just one of five drivers to score a top ten finish this year.
Indeed, though Palmer insists the disappointing results are more down to machine than man, it hasn't stopped speculation that his seat is under threat from a number of other drivers for the 2017 season.
Leading candidate is expected to be the highly-rated Mercedes development driver Esteban Ocon, who has been dovetailing his commitments with the three-pointed star with a reserve driver role at Renault.
With the Frenchman spending two days in the Mercedes W07 during testing at Silverstone – as well as driving the Renault during FP1 for the British Grand Prix -, Palmer maintains he is not paying attention to what Ocon is achieving in a much faster car.
“I don't really care what Ocon does [in testing], he's in the Mercedes which is a different league to what we're doing. So I'm not worried by Esteban anyway, I know him well and he's a member of the team. So I'm not worried about my seat, with him, I just focus on what I'm doing.
“To be honest I just focus on getting the car better because I think if we can improve the car then I think there's a better chance to show what I can do. Especially if we can be in Q2 or fighting for points then that's a real chance to show I can score, show I can race well against the best because at the moment it's harder than it could be anyway.
“I'm not fussed about anyone else, it's good to see some young guys out there. I'm just focused on doing 51 laps this morning and it was a good run so fingers crossed it's dry and I can do another 50.”
Indeed, though Palmer says talks for 2017 haven't begun as yet, he says he is no rush to open discussions with Renault.
“We're still focused on this year. Even the stuff we're testing is all focused on this year. I think probably summer break time or even later. At the moment the whole team is al focused on trying to improve the current situation really.”