Renault Formula 1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul believes that Jolyon Palmer deserves to be racing in a world-class championship in 2018, despite the Brit being dropped from the team after the Japanese Grand Prix.
Palmer drove for the French manufacturer for two seasons, with a highest finish of sixth position at the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix, but he underperformed compared to team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.
With only one points finish to his name, Palmer was then replaced by Carlos Sainz Jr for the remaining four rounds of 2017 and the 26-year-old has not yet confirmed his plans for 2018 and beyond.
Renault says they remain committed to supporting Palmer in his search for a 2018 drive.
“I think it’s fair to say Jo and his family are not in complete control of the next steps and their future,” Abiteboul told Autosport.
“We did try to look at options, which I don’t want to detail publicly, but I don’t think Jonathan or Jo would challenge the fact we’ve been extremely helpful – the best we could.
“Anything we can do to help Jo we will do because I really think he deserves to be in a world-class championship.
“The avenues we explored have not worked out so far, but we will see – Renault is a large family in motorsports, we have a number of activities, so we will see what the future can hold for everyone.”
It was expected that Palmer would join the Formula E grid, but at present no such move has occurred, despite Renault being a prominent figure in the series.
“I think there was maybe a timing issue,” said Abiteboul.
“Maybe we could have developed something if there could have been an earlier buying into the process from all involved, but that’s not happened so far.”