Sainz: early Renault call-up 'a big surprise'

Carlos Sainz CRASHES during Japanese Grand Prix practice and faces grid penalty

Sainz was already set to race for Renault in 2018, however Toro Rosso said he would leave the team "earlier than originally planned" because "circumstances have changed".

Despite everything that has gone on however, Palmer says he has enjoyed every minute of driving for Renault and helping them accomplish their return to Formula 1, and wishes the team well.

"Thanks everyone for the support during the last two years, it means a lot!"

Behind the fast talk and the smirk, Cyril Abiteboul has shown that if ever playing Poker with him, one should do the complete opposite of what he suggests and completely ignore the wide-eyed "who me, as if" look.

"I'm looking forward to working with m", said Sainz in official communiqué of Toro Rosso, where he wanted to thank Red Bull and promised to look for a big farewell in Suzuka, despite starting from penultimate position of grill.

"It's a shame for me not to finish the season, I've been here a while and I respect the decision and wish Carlos and the team all the best for the future".

"On my side, I will definitely do my very best in tomorrow's race". Additionally, competing in these last four races with Renault gives me a good opportunity to get to know the team and the vehicle earlier than expected.

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"We go in separate ways and I'll work on something else in the future".

Renault had announced on Saturday that they and Palmer, son of former racer Jonathan, had agreed a parting of the ways. He earned a one-year extension on that deal after an improved second half to his debut campaign but he has endured a miserable 2017.

Palmer scored just one point last season and has drawn a blank in all but one of his races this year, finishing sixth in Singapore.

Toro Rosso said Kvyat had been recalled to the race seat for the United States race, but did not specify a plan for its line-up for the remainder of the season.

Watch the Japanese GP LIVE ONLY on Sky Sports F1 this weekend.

But it was also the first official retirement at Suzuka for three years - stretching back to Jules Bianchi's tragic fatal accident in the wet during the 2014 race.

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