By Adam Tate, Associate Editor
Carlos Sainz’s widely reported move from Toro Rosso to Renault is apparently in the form of a “loan” which at least in theory, Red Bull can take back if they need or desire to.
With the top Red Bull team filled and Pierre Gasly coming to take his place at Toro Rosso it is likely that Sainz will stay at Renault after 2018, but it is not guarunteed.
Should Honda continue to be a disaster in 2018 and Red Bull be forced to take their engines in 2019, there is a high liklihood that Ricciardo, Verstappen, or both will jump ship and Red Bull will call Sainz home to step up to the top team.
For now he will replace the criminally unlucky Jolyon Palmer and drive alongside the highly rated Nico Hulkenberg for a team that is only set to move up the grid over the next few seasons, a true win-win for the time being.
Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul called Sainz, “a very promising driver who has been on our radar for some time, especially after his successes in Renault junior formulas.”
He continued on with positive remarks for his team going forward and spared a word of gratitude not only to Red Bull, but to the outgoing Palmer as well.
“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. I would like to thank Helmut Marko for loaning Carlos to us for this period. We must thank Jolyon 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.”
For his part, Sainz is clearly thrilled. He has long wished to break free of Toro Rosso where he felt constrained and worried that his career could stall. He did however, quite rightly praise them for giving him his big break.
“I hope to reward Renault’s faith in me with my very best performances on track,” said Sainz. “This is the start of a very exciting new chapter in my career. I would like to say thank you to Red Bull for all their confidence and support and for allowing me to take this opportunity. Last but not least, I specially want to thank all the people that work in Toro Rosso. They are a fantastic team of professionals and I wish them the best for the future.”