Sainz Jr. 'starting to feel at home' with Renault
19 November 2017 – Carlos Sainz Jr. says he is beginning to become accustomed to his new surroundings at Renault, following his recent move from Toro Rosso.
Sainz Jr., a long-term member of Red Bull's junior scheme, stepped up to Formula 1 with Toro Rosso in 2015, and moved across on loan to Renault in the United States, ahead of his full-time 2018 role.
Sainz Jr. scored points on his Renault debut, taking seventh at the Circuit of the Americas, though retired in Mexico, and finished outside of the top 10 in Brazil.
However, despite missing out on the points last time out, Sainz Jr. expressed an upbeat attitude over his start to life at Renault.
"I left Brazil with a positive mindset as I'm starting to feel at home in the car and we head to Abu Dhabi with confidence and an aim for points," he said.
"It's going to be a tight fight in the championship for sixth, but we are ready for the challenge.
"There's been a lot to learn but I think we've been able to face the challenge in a positive manner.
"It's been an education for me to come to a manufacturer team, and there's been a lot to do because of joining mid-season.
"I'm still on a steep learning curve with the car so I hope for another step forward in Abu Dhabi."
Renault heads into the final round of the campaign seventh in the Constructors' Championship, four points behind outgoing customer Toro Rosso, and just two clear of Haas.
Nico Hülkenberg, who has amassed 35 of Renault's 49 points, says the manufacturer's R.S.17 should be better suited to the Yas Marina layout, compared to Interlagos.
"The Constructors' Championship will go down to the wire for sixth in Abu Dhabi and I'm really relishing the challenge," said Hülkenberg.
"The track should suit us better than Interlagos. It's the season finale, there's plenty at stake and that makes me very excited."