Japanese Grand Prix To Be Jolyon Palmer's Last Renault F1 Race

Sainz crash and heavy rain delay practice sessions in Japan // Suzuka weekend off to a difficult start for all

Sainz crash and heavy rain delay practice sessions in Japan // Suzuka weekend off to a difficult start for all

"It's been a bit of a odd weekend knowing it's the last with the team after three years, shame not going to Austin", Palmer told Sky Sports.

"I'm going to remain positive: these three years here have been absolutely wonderful - it's been an ideal preparation for me", he said.

"When I'm heading back on the plane maybe it will sink in that I'm not driving for Renault again and maybe not in Formula 1 again".

Renault chief Abiteboul said that bringing in Sainz four races early would assist the team in getting a "jump start" on its 2018 preparations.

"How disappointing, this wasn't the way I wanted to end my time with Toro Rosso, that's for sure", said Sainz Jr. "He has shown great personal qualities and we wish him all the best in his future career".

Frenchman Pierre Gasly steps up to a full-time drive for the rest of the season with Toro Rosso.

The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver, who crashed during Friday morning's free practice session, finished fifteenth fastest, thanks to using the same set of tyres in the second session that he did in the opening segment, with the decision made to save tyres in order to open up the strategy calls on Sunday.

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"More specifically, I really want to thank all my engineers and mechanics for their support and tremendous work throughout these years".

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

Regarding his race through the field, Palmer stated; "From 18th on the grid, I think finishing 12th is about as good as we could of done, apart from if we didn't have the VSC at the end [deployed for Lance Stroll's stricken Williams] and had one more lap".

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.

The Brit was going to be replaced by Carlos Sainz, but why hang around for the inevitable?

Meanwhile, Sainz's early Toro Rosso exit means Gasly, who made his F1 debut in Malaysia last week, will miss out on the chance to win the Japanese Super Formula series later this month.

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