Japanese GP: Sainz to replace Palmer at Renault after Suzuka race

Jolyon Palmer is to leave the Renault Formula 1 team after the Japanese Grand Prix, with Carlos Sainz Jr replacing him from the next race in the United States

Japanese GP: Sainz to replace Palmer at Renault after Suzuka race

Following months of speculation regarding the future of the Briton, he revealed after qualifying that Sunday's race at Suzuka will be his final one with the team.

A statement from Renault said the decision had been reached "mutually".

"The Japanese Grand Prix will be my last race for Renault," said Palmer.

"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 proudly 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."

Sainz, who was going to replace Palmer for next season anyway, will be drafted across from Toro Rosso.

Discuss the move on the Autosport Forums

His switch will then give an opportunity for Daniil Kvyat to return to action if Pierre Gasly elects to race at Austin rather than return to Super Formula, where he is fighting for the title.

Palmer has faced doubts about his immediate future at the team ever since it emerged that Sainz had been signed for 2018.

However, his sixth-placed finish in the Singapore Grand Prix initially appeared to ease pressure on Renault regarding Palmer's place at the team.

Renault Sport managing director Cyril Abiteboul said: "I would like to thank Jolyon for his commitment to the team and his professionalism.

"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."

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