Jolyon Palmer completed his final race for Renault Sport F1 just outside the points, claiming he was half a lap away from the possibility of getting points, whilst his teammate Nico Hulkenberg, and replacement Carlos Sainz Jr, failed to finish the race.
It was announced on Saturday via an Instagram post from the brit that he would race in his final race for the team in Japan. It was announced shortly after that Carlos Sainz would replace Palmer from the next round in Austin, Texas. As for the seat Sainz is vacating, Daniil Kvyat will return to the sport after two races absence.
On Saturday, Sainz thanked his team for the last three years, “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. 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 praised his now former driver, “I would like to thank Carlos for all his efforts over almost three Formula 1 seasons. He 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. Therefore, 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!”
There is still speculation over Pierre Gasly’s seat for the race in Austin in just two weeks time, as it clashes with the Super Formula finale in Japan, a series where the new Toro Rosso driver is just half a point away from the lead of the championship, giving him a massive possibility to win the championship.
After coming home in twelfth place in Sunday’s race, Palmer said over team radio, “thanks everyone it’s been a pleasure racing with you all.”
Team Principal of Renault Sport F1, Cyril Abiteboul said, “I would like to thank Jolyon for his commitment to the team and his professionalism. Since Renault’s return to Formula 1, Jolyon has been highly dedicated in an evolving environment. He has shown great personal qualities and we wish him all the best in his future career.”