Carlos Sainz will finally be getting the opportunity that he’s been craving. Come 2018, Sainz will drop his Toro Rosso Trappings in favor of the yellow of Renault.
Well, Kubica’s chances of a Renault comeback just got pushed back a year or two. Despite the ravenous hunger with which the Pole’s fans wished to see the former F1 racer rejoin the gauntlet, Renault has opted for a new – and quite surprising – choice: Carlos Sainz.
The young Toro Rosso driver stirred up quite the storm earlier in the season when he made his intentions for a team transfer well-known. The Torro Rosso temper tantrum certainly garnered Sainz an ample amount of attention – despite it being mostly negative. Although Sainzgate ended with Carlos’ ambition being slapped back down and told to wait, the young Spaniard will be getting what he ultimately wished for – albeit with a different team.
Although there hasn’t been much in the way of a formal release, high-level sources have confirmed that the Spaniard will be on his way to the French-Manufacturer team come 2018. Sainz’s move is speculated to be part of a grander scheme for McLaren to be able to field a customer engine from Renault – as the French Manufacturer has made it abundantly clear that they would be unable to support a fourth customer team.
What McLaren has been up to behind the scenes still remains unknown, but their manoeuvring has proven to be masterful if they have successfully managed to convince Toro Rosso to hop over to Team Honda for the 2018 season. Perhaps the likes of Christian Horner and Dr. Helmut Marko have decided that the Red Bull sister team is better left to its own devices in the future, but that would hardly explain the jump to one of the most beleaguered power units in the sport’s history. It’s difficult to see what Toro Rosso stands to gain from the move – and with Daniil Kvyat remaining as the team’s resident torpedo, it’s looking like the team will be further relegated to toiling around the midfield.
With Sainz out and no replacement announced yet, McLaren’s move looms ominously on the horizon. The Woking-based team’s decision over Honda has been the fire that has threatened to engulf the paddock on more than one occasion during the 2017 season. Time has effectively run out for Honda to prove their worth to McLaren. Despite all talks of banding together in the face of adversity, McLaren have all but confirmed their desire to sever their participation with Honda in the wake of Sainz’s move.that
And yet, despite the focus that has been placed on the McLaren-Honda project, there still remains one factor in the mix that remains unaddressed: Jolyon Palmer. The current Renault driver has had one of the most lackluster seasons on record, and the fans have wasted no time in debating his imminent demise and subsequent removal from Renault. Palmer’s presence in the fallout of the Sainz deal remains yet to be seen, but the possibility of the young Brit remaining in F1 – let alone Renault – seems to be non-existent.
Then again, with the number of surprises that the 2017 season has held for teams and engine manufacturer’s alone, who knows what Jolyon’s future holds.