Renault Formula 1 reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin remains focused on impressing in a bid to gain a full-time race seat in the future despite speculation that he could step up mid-season in place of Jolyon Palmer.

Sirotkin has worked with Renault since the start of the 2016 season, with his development duties for the team currently acting as his priority after not taking on a race programme for the full campaign.

The Russian driver has been linked with a mid-season step up to F1 in place of the struggling Palmer should Renault decide to replace him, with his appearance in FP1 in Austria appearing to take him a step closer to a full-time race seat.

"To be honest, there are many rumours and there are many things, but I've been extremely busy the last two months," Sirotkin said.

"To be honest I didn't think at all about if I'm getting closer or not or what is the situation. I know the job I need to do. I know what the team expects of me.

"I know what to expect from the team, so we'll work together as we should work. And then we will see where we end up."

When asked by about his 2018 chances, Sirotkin was again relaxed about his chances of making the step up, but said that plans would begin to be discussed in the near future.

"Again, this is a little bit too far in the future now," Sirotkin said. "Obviously the F1 seat is the final target for all of us. This is where we are going step by step.

"Now we are a step closer, and I think we're now entering the part of the year where we should start to think more properly about what we do and how we do."


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