Carlos Sainz Jnr, Toro Rosso, Suzuka, 2017

Sainz confirmed as Palmer’s replacement from US GP

2017 United States Grand Prix

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Carlos Sainz Jnr will take Jolyon Palmer’s place at Renault from the United States Grand Prix, the team has confirmed.

Palmer has already announced on social media that tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix will be his last at the team.

“I would like to thank Toro Rosso and Red Bull for allowing me the possibility of finishing this season with Renault Sport Racing,” said Sainz.

“More specifically, I really want to thank all my engineers and mechanics for their support and tremendous work throughout these years. Toro Rosso is made up of a fantastic group of people and I wish them only the best for the future. On my side, I will definitely do my very best in tomorrow’s race – this would be the best possible send-off.”

“Additionally, competing in these last four races with Renault gives me a good opportunity to get to know the team and the car earlier than expected. I am looking forward to start working with them.”

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost said Sainz “always did his very best, demonstrating an excellent attitude and commitment to his work, which helped him and us to get some great results during that time.”

“On behalf of everyone at Toro Rosso, I wish him all the very best with his new team. We look forward to beating him on track.”

Tomorrow will be Sainz’s 56th start for Toro Rosso, the most of any driver bar Jean-Eric Vergne, who started 58 races for Red Bull’s junior team.

2017 United States Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 51 comments on “Sainz confirmed as Palmer’s replacement from US GP”

    1. ‘Circumstances have changed’. Knowing Sainz, he threw an absolutely almighty tantrum.

      1. I think that what’s changed is Renault agreeing with Palmer about early termination of Joylon’s drive @hahostolze

      2. Hey up, we have Sainz’s best pal over here.

        1. I am a big fan of what Sainz brings to F1, on track. From what’s been reported off track, I think my remark is completely uncontroversial.

    2. So Gasly will not contest the final round of Super Formula? Such a shame

      1. What a mess.

        1. Bah, they should just get palmer for a race, I mean, he must know his f1 career is over, get the last chance to drive a f1 race weekend and a different car, so gasly can hopefully win his title and then gets back.

    3. It’s funny how drivers aren’t allowed to change helmets because that “makes it hard for the fans to follow”, but changing cars and teams mid-season isn’t a problem.

      1. It’s even funnier that the only thing that has to have any consistency between races is the gearbox. A team can have an entirely new chassis, power unit, and driver from one race to the next provided it’s all bolted to the same gearbox.

        1. The gearbox yes…but not the casing….S Vettel after Malaysia

          1. Who invented “cassette” gearboxes @jop452 ? Honestly, after having Gasly so close to sainz jr in malaysia, I now understand why sainz jr was up to go to renault early. I first thought it would be a bad idea but anything sainz jr achieves with the renault is going to be good for him.

      2. It’s not as though there’s a three-letter abbreviation or number on the car.

    4. Sure Sainz is a way more better prospect than Palmer, but moving from one team to another this late in the season will affect his performance. Fisichella comes to mind.

      Don’t expect much from Sainz now until next year. I won’t be surprised if the gap in time is bigger than Palmer’s average to Hulkenberg for the next couple of sessions.

      1. Verstappen did reasonably well when he went from Torro Rosso to Red Bull. He won his first race with them.

      2. Ruben, initially I was of the same opinion, now though I think its a clever move by Sainz jr.
        Horner complimented Gasly relative to carlos, therefore Pierre has all the credit and sainz jr all the risk, tables turned, Sainz jr is safe, has tge excuse of not knowing the renault and Hulk has the pressure of the new teammate.

        1. And generally, while renault isn’t convincingly better than toro rosso atm, they suffer the same issue (3rd best engine out of 4), in general toro rosso has not much chance to improve relative to the grid, renault has potential in the future at least, and toro rosso will get honda engines who already hope to be 3rd in the constructor championship next year, so try to NOT be in toro rosso if you can!

    5. Senseless

      Would have rather seen the drivers finish the year in current teams before the switch around.

      I hope Carlos’s Renault is every bit as reliable as Palmers has been.

      What possible advantage is there for swapping this number of drivers at the end of season?

      Gasley, Kyvat, Sainz, Palmer, who’s next?

      1. @9chris9 It sounds a lot if you name all the drivers but in essence there’s been one switch. Sainz to Renault, Palmer out. STR was just smart enough to already prepare Gasly.

      2. Does actually make sense though.

        Palmer has just been making up the numbers so they don’t have to waste a further 4 races on him.

        Renault get’s Sainz early, Toro Rosso now has place for their driver (though I’m sure they preferred Sainz staying longer, no point in blocking him), everyone wins.

      3. @9chris9 Senseless? I think it’s the perfect situation for everyone involved. Sainz gets to know the team earlier, Renault might actually have a chance of beating Toro Rosso or Williams in the championship and they get rid of the slow Palmer, Toro Rosso gives Gasly more time in the car without worrying too much were he’ll finish and Kvyat might get a confidence boost competing with a new guy that doesn’t have the experience yet.

        The only one that might call all this “senseless” is Palmer, but to be honest, he probably saw it coming.

        1. @fer-no65 Agreed. Well said.

        2. @fer-no65 Unexpected lifeline for Kvyat. Surprised the heck out of me.

        3. Very well said. The most sensible and realistic comment here @fer-no65

        4. And don’t forget that when kvyat gets pushed out of toro rosso for a new talent verstappen will win his 3rd race, so that’s good, might not be that far ahead either (every kvyat’s demotion verstappen wins)!

      4. So the sequence for Sainz would be renault 2018 and then back to RBR to fill Ricciardo’s vacancy?

    6. This is really bizarre. I know the Renault is a better car, but this is like Giancarlo Fisichella switching to Ferrari in ’09 from Force India and not being able to do much with the car! What is he trying to prove?

      1. He gets four relatively low stakes races to measure himself against and hopefully outperform Hulkenberg before the next season starts which is what really matters.

        He’s not likely to pull a Verstappen and get a win in his first race, but a podium in one of the four races isn’t out of the question.

        He’s nothing to lose; if he comes out behind Hulkenberg then fair enough, he’s only just dropped into the team. But if he outperforms Hulkenberg it marks him out clearly as the top dog ready for 2018.

        1. a podium in one of the four races isn’t out of the question.

          I really think it is out of the question.

        2. @philipgb not sure the Renault car on the podium is a realistic option though?

          1. @spoutnik

            Highly improbable, but a far more likely occurrence than for a Toro Rosso.

            Hulkenberg came very close. And I suspect Sainz is a better driver.

          2. @spoutnik – re: Renault podium, all it takes is a wet Brazil and anything is possible. Remember 2003 and a win for Jordan?

      2. What is ‘he’ trying to prove, said like this has all been orchestrated by one driver.

    7. I think this is a clever move by Renault, with nothing but upside potential. Here’s why:

      In the constructors, Renault trail Toro Rosso by only 10pts. Now, the primary point getter for TR has replaced the by-far inferior Renault driver. Renault could definitely pass TR now.

      I don’t know how the dollars work out, but my theory would be that taking 6th in the constructors would get Renault more $$$ than whatever Palmer’s sponsors would pay for the last 4 races. With a lucky break or two even Williams may be in reach for 5th…

      At worst, you stay 7th but get extra time with Sainz. At best, you get 5th or 6th in the constructors (and the $$$). Well played i’d say.

      1. And Renault probably agreed to pay the difference in pricemoney to TR.

    8. But what is the point of Sainz going to Renault for 1year only? I mean what Renault gains with it long term? When Ricardo moves to top team Red Bull is going to call him back 100%.

      1. Well, renault will finally have 2 serious drivers at the same time, surely can’t be worse than having palmer OR palmer and magnussen who isn’t really a good driver imo.

    9. Maybe Red Bill have loaned him to Renault early in return for a guarantee of a Renault engine in 2019 and 2020 if they (Red Bull), want it. If Renault don’t give them an engine in 2019, Red Bull could just take Sainz back – who would Renault have then? Alonso? Only if they had a championship winning chassis that’s better than Mclaren’s, so not likely. This looks like a good move for Red Bull. Having said all that, Eddie Jordan said Renault are contractually obliged to supply Red Bull until 2020 as part of a deal they did with Ecclestone. But why use hard power when you can use soft power and “persuade” Renault to supply Red Bull (if their 2019/2020 PUs are better than Hondas).

    10. So much for another water tight contract in F1….
      It’s not worked out for J.P in this years Renault….For whatever reason, and when the car actually went that is….maybe he will get another chance ….would be surprised if we have seen the last of him

      1. Either side can terminate any contract – so long as they can afford it. In this case it seems Palmer’s dad’s pockets were not deep enough to persuade Renault.

        1. For Renault this is a win win situation. Sainz might score enough points to get them constructors points, which will help with next years budget. If not, he gets familiar with the team earlier, ready for next year.

      2. JP simply wasn’t fast enough when the was reliable. Yes, he has been unlucky, but, there are better drivers out there. Will someone take a punt on him, probably, if daddy brings his cheque book. So no, I don’t expect to see him at anything but a back marker team, though the way Williams are heading, he might fit the bill perfectly.

    11. This is probably one of those questions that someone will go “duh, here’s the answer” and I will thwack my forehead in frustration at missing the obvious, but I’ll risk it anyway:

      “Supersub” drivers (e.g. Di Resta, Hungary) or drivers being dropped (Dani Kvyat, all the time) during a season aren’t all that rare, but drivers switching teams during a season are a lot rarer. Who was the last?

      1. Verstappen last year?

      2. Arguably Verstappen, if you consider Toro Rosso to Red Bull as a team change (I do).

        1. Yes, of course, and that is indeed my “duh” moment!

    12. I must say I won’t regret Palmer. He’s a nice guy but without all his money he would not have been there. His only decent performance I can remember is Singapore otherwise he has often be slow or plagued by issues. And even if his replacement was probably decided before his double spin it’s all what many will remember.

      What will he do next? I’m not sure there’s place for him in F1 in the short term at least. Maybe Indycar?

      Good luck to Sainz who has perhaps done a key move. Renault will most probably be winning races in a few years.

      1. Don’t forget a reliability problem ruined his good belgium weekend up till then, he’s done a better job than kvyat imo, if that can be taken as a compliment, lol.

    13. I feel sorry for Palmer but it’s great for F1, sainz v Hulkenberg can only benefit the Renault team in its pursuit of points. Plus, having a driver moving during a season generates great team comparison data.

      1. It must feel awful, but I’m not exactly sorry for him. Palmer just wasn’t good enough to compete at the sharp end of F1. Hell, it took him four years (in four different teams) to clinch the GP2 title, & without his father’s money I doubt he would’ve found himself a second try, let alone a fourth. The good thing (and main reason I don’t feel too badly for him) is that he’s able to afford a race drive pretty much anywhere else. & I’m sure another team might need an influx of cash sooner than later, so he might even make a comeback. But F1 is currently chock full of drivers that’ll blow him out of the water. Gasly & Ocon, already look more promising than Jolyon has after several seasons, & now Leclerc is waiting in the wings after clinching F2 at the first try.

    14. This creates a problem for Toro Rosso.
      I understand from Gasly’s point of view that driving in F1 is his personal priority, but winning the title for Honda in Japan could be huge for future relations.
      An idea – why not put Sato in the second Toro Rosso in Austin? He’s a Honda guy, he lives in the US, he’s in the spotlight as the Indy 500 winner. It would be perfect PR for everybody.
      That said, I would prefer da Costa getting his long overdue F1 chance instead. But that’s not going to happen either.

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