Renault: Sainz Jr. signing will boost team
15 September 2017 – Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul believes the recruitment of Carlos Sainz Jr. will drive the manufacturer forward in 2018, as it strives to move up the grid.
Amid an array of announcements on Friday, Renault confirmed that it has reached an agreement to field Sainz Jr. in 2018, with the youngster on loan from Red Bull.
Sainz Jr. has spent the last three seasons with Toro Rosso and holds ninth in the 2017 standings, one position ahead of future team-mate Nico Hülkenberg, having taken eight points finishes.
Abiteboul hailed Sainz Jr.'s signing and is optimistic that the Spaniard will aid Renault's progress throughout next season.
"Carlos is a very promising driver who has been on our radar for some time, especially after his successes in Renault junior formulae," Abiteboul said, referring to Sainz Jr.'s Formula Renault 3.5 title triumph in 2014.
"It is positive news for us to be able to confirm Carlos for 2018.
"This choice is well aligned with our mid-term strategic plans.
"We feel that Nico and Carlos will complement each other on and off track and the combination should help us push forwards on the grid."
Abiteboul added: "We must thank Jolyon [Palmer] for his ongoing hard work with the team and his efforts over the past two seasons.
"He is a dedicated driver and we wish him the best in the next steps of his career."
Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko, who oversees the company's young driver scheme, says Sainz Jr. will benefit from taking on a "different challenge" in 2018.
"We are happy to have reached an agreement for Carlos to drive for Renault in 2018," said Marko.
"He is a tremendous talent and he will benefit from working with a manufacturer team alongside a highly experienced driver.
"This will give Carlos a different challenge and we will be keenly watching his progress there as he remains part of the Red Bull family.
"This is very good development for both Carlos and Renault, and will also allow us to bring a new talent into Formula 1."
Sainz Jr.'s replacement at Toro Rosso has yet to be confirmed, though Pierre Gasly is understood to be the favourite.