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Palmer to make Suzuka F1 swansong as Sainz joins Renault and Kvyat returns for USA F1 GP

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Palmer to make Suzuka F1 swansong as Sainz joins Renault and Kvyat returns for USA F1 GP
Oct 7, 2017, 12:34 PM

Jolyon Palmer has announced that the Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix will be his final race for Renault, after an unhappy two seasons with the team.

Jolyon Palmer has announced that the Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix will be his final race for Renault, after an unhappy two seasons with the team.

"Tomorrow's Japanese GP will be my last race for Renault. With my grid penalty I'll be starting near the back but I will be giving it my all as always. Thanks everyone for the support during the last 2 years, it means a lot!" said the statement on his Instagram profile

2018 replacement Carlos Sainz Jr will take Palmer's seat to begin his tenure with Renault early at the USA GP. Daniil Kvyat will return to Toro Rosso after a two-race absence for Pierre Gasly.

Gasly himself will take Sainz's seat at Toro Rosso to partner Kvyat, and miss the Japanese Super Formula final to contest the race at Austin.

A statement was released by Renault after Palmer's post on Instagram.

"The Japanese Grand Prix will be my last race for Renault. It's been an extremely challenging season and I've been through a lot in the last three years, but it's been a tremendous journey overall with the team.

"I can look back at the performance in the second half of last season, my first point in Malaysia and of course reaching a career high of sixth place in Singapore this year. I wish the team all the best for the future.

"My immediate focus is now on achieving the best possible result in the Japanese GP, and then I can assess my options for the future," said Palmer in Renault's statement.

Palmer was expected to sit out the Malaysian GP onwards, but he previously stated that he would contest the remaining races of the season. Renault did not specify why Palmer will be replaced so soon, with four races of the season remaining. However boosting their Constructors' points tally and also giving Sainz a head start on understanding the team and the 2016 car make a lot of sense. It will help with benchmarking with the 2017 model next season.

The 26-year-old recorded his highest finish for Renault this season, with sixth place at the Singapore GP. Over 35 starts, he scored nine points with the team over two seasons, with eight of them earned in 2017.

"I would like to thank Jolyon for his commitment to the team and his professionalism," said Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul in the statement.

"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."

Gasly retained and Kvyat returns

Toro Rosso has confirmed that Gasly will be retained by the team in place of Sainz as Kvyat returns after a two race absence to finish the rest of the season.

"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," said Team Principal Franz Tost.

"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!"

Having joined Toro Rosso in 2015 as Formula Renault 3.5 champion, Sainz started 55 grands prix with the team with a highest finish of fourth at this season's Singapore GP. The 23-year-old scored 48 points this season from 15 races, his highest career F1 tally so far.

"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," said Sainz in Toro Rosso's statement.

"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."

Is this the right move for Renault and Toro Rosso? Have your say in the comment section below.
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