Sainz's farewell to Toro Rosso ends in tatters


Renault will replace British driver Jolyon Palmer with Spaniard Carlos Sainz for the last four races of the Formula One season, the team said on Saturday.

The move set off a chain reaction of announcements, as Renault confirmed that Carlos Sainz had been released by Toro Rosso to complete his move to the French manufacturer early and contest the rest of the 2017 season with the team.

It will also open up a seat at Scuderia Toro Rosso for Daniil Kvyat, who has sat out the last two Grands Prix in favor of Pierre Gasly.

Sainz praised the team where he served his F1 apprenticeship and matured as a bona fide Grand Prix driver.

Sainz crashed out of his final grand prix for Toro Rosso, after spinning into the barriers on the opening lap.

"Since Renault's return to Formula 1, Jolyon has been highly dedicated in an evolving environment".

Sainz, who will be loaned to Renault from Red Bull in 2018, added: "First of all I would like to thank Toro Rosso and Red Bull for allowing me the possibility of finishing this season with Renault Sport Racing". "It's a shame to not finish the season but I respect the decision and I wish the team and Carlos [Sainz] all the best".

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"I've been with them for three years and it's a shame not to be going to Austin with them". Heavy rain saw the start delayed and the teams working on their pit lane river rafts rather than the cars.

"On my side, I will definitely do my very best in tomorrow's race... this would be the best possible send-off!"

Over the course of his 56-race career with the Faenza-based outfit, Sainz scored 112 championship points, with his best result achieved this year at Singapore where he finished fourth.

Palmer managed only one point in all of 2016 when Renault had just taken over the failing Lotus team and were struggling with an uncompetitive auto.

"Toro Rosso is made up of a fantastic group of people and I wish them only the best for the future".

Gasly and Kvyat are now likely to form Toro Rosso's 2018 driver line-up, although Pascal Wehrlein is considered an outside contender. The race from Suzuka begins at 6am on Sunday.