Saturday, 16 December, 2017

Renault replace Palmer with Sainz for Austin

Sainz crash and heavy rain delay practice sessions in Japan // Suzuka weekend off to a difficult start for all Sainz to replace Palmer at Renault from COTA
Angelica Greene | 09 October, 2017, 00:35

This weekend's Japanese Grand Prix will be the last in a Renault for Jolyon Palmer, the team has confirmed.

Carlos Sainz Jr. apologised to his Toro Rosso team for crashing out on the opening lap at the Japanese Grand Prix, bringing down the curtain on his spell with the outfit.

"It's been a bit of a odd weekend knowing it's the last with the team after three years, shame not going to Austin", Palmer, who finished 12th at Suzuka, told Sky Sports. "It's been an extremely challenging season and I've been through a lot in the last three years, but it's been a tremendous journey overall with the team", Palmer said.

"When I'm heading back on the plane maybe it will sink in that I'm not driving for Renault again and maybe not in Formula 1 again".

Sainz has scored all-but four of Toro Rosso's points this season and Renault will hope the highly-rated Spaniard's arrival will help them make up late ground in the Constructors' Championship.

Daniil Kvyat will return to Toro Rosso beside Pierre Gasly for the remaining four races of the season. "He has shown great personal qualities and we wish him all the best in his future career". "I've been with the team now for three years so it's a shame not to be going to Austin with them".

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Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport Racing Managing Director, added: "I would like to thank Jolyon for his commitment to the team and his professionalism".

"We will go our separate ways and I will work on something else for my future".

He will replace Jolyon Palmer after the British driver failed to deliver the goods, picking up just eight points so far.

Gasly and Kvyat are now likely to form Toro Rosso's 2018 driver line-up, although Pascal Wehrlein is considered an outside contender.

"On my side, I will definitely do my very best in tomorrow's race".

The Englishman is set to start 18th at Suzuka, one place ahead of Sainz, after both received a 20-place grid penalty for engine component changes. Therefore, on behalf of everyone at Toro Rosso, I wish him all the very best with his new team.

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