Looking foward to joining Renault F1 team next season, Carlos Sainz Jr has made his praise for the development rate of the team this season known to his future employer. Speaking of the development rate, the Spaniard commented that it gave him “great confidence” joining the team for the 2018 season.
In the big engine shuffle, where McLaren has swapped the unreliable Honda engine for Renault for next season and Toro Rosso take the risk on the Honda power unit, Sainz was offered to Renault on a one-year loan to sweeten the deal in the supplier change over. Renault are currently placed seventh in the constructor’s championship as it stands at time of publishing. The team have been performing well in the latter half of th season, regularly being top-ten features in qualifying and the race.
“When a driver becomes a manufacturer driver it’s a step in a career, and it means you are now part of a massive organisation, not only in motorsport but a car company,” Sainz told GP Gazette. “Apart from that it’s a manufacturer that wants to become world champions. They want to do it in the medium to short term, and they’ve trusted me to help them to do that. I’ve seen that a lot of time Renault has been the fourth fastest team this year.
“And what I’ve also seen is the development they’ve had during the season, which also creates a smile on my face, because I know how much they’ve developed and how much effort they are putting into everything. I follow them very closely because they also have the same power unit as us. I know the progress they’ve made.”
In October, 2006, Sainz had the chance to sit in then World Champion Fernando Alonso’s Renault, the car that would take the Spanish driver to his second World Championship. To the young Marid-born driver, racing for Renault has been a dream of him for a long time as he continues to progress and follow in his hero’s footsteps.
“That’s what makes me the most happy,” Sainz said. “I’m stepping into a team that is a childhood dream, a team that is on its way up, motivated to go forward, a team that has been looking for me since mid-way of 2016. I became a fan of F1 because of watching Fernando win races with Renault, and to finally join this team when it’s on its way up, like it was in 2003 and 2004, is a great honour for me.
“I’m always going to be thankful to them for trusting me for so long now, for pushing for me for so long as they’ve been pushing, and we finally made it happen.”
Although excited about the new challenge in joinnig a works team, Sainz is realistic about his prosepcts in 2018. He beleieves that breaking into the top three will not be easy, even though Renault is currently making great progress.
“The next step is the difficult one, and that’s why in 2018 I want to help them to take the next step,” he said. “If it’s to consolidate as the fourth team or be the third team, I don’t know, this we haven’t talked about yet. I want to help them to score as many points as possible, and together with Nico to take them to the next level.”