Renault has finally confirmed that Carlos Sainz will join the team on loan next year, with the Spaniard having been released for 2018 by Red Bull.
Sainz had originally been expected to stay at Toro Rosso, but as part of the complex negotiations involving his current team's switch to Honda engines he has been moved across to Renault.
In a statement issued on Friday, Renault said that he would join the team for the start of next year – even though there remains a chance he could be slotted in alongside Nico Hulkenberg before then.
Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul said: "Carlos Sainz is a very promising driver who has been on our radar for some time, especially after his successes in Renault junior formulae. It is positive news for us to be able to confirm Carlos for 2018.
"This choice is well aligned with our mid-term strategic plans. 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 [Palmer] 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."
Red Bull's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko added: "We are happy to have reached an agreement for Carlos to drive for Renault Sport Formula 1 Team in 2018. He is a tremendous talent and he will benefit from working with a manufacturer team alongside a highly experienced driver.
"This will give Carlos a different challenge and we will be keenly watching his progress there as he remains part of the Red Bull family. This is very good development for both Carlos and Renault Sport Formula 1 Team and will also allow us to bring a new talent into Formula 1."
Carlos Sainz said he was relishing the prospect of stepping up to a works team in 2018.
"To be a Formula 1 driver for a manufacturer team is an honour and I hope to reward Renault's faith in me with my very best performances on track," he said.
"The trajectory of Renault Sport Formula 1 Team is exciting and I'm proud to join at such an important time in their history."
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