Renault has officially announced that Carlos Sainz Jr. will join its Formula 1 team for the 2018 season, switching from Toro Rosso following the piecing together of the various engine deals in the last few days.

Sainz will leave Toro Rosso after three seasons, having spent the majority of his racing career under the Red Bull umbrella, and will partner Nico Hulkenberg.

"I’m very happy to be joining Renault Sport Formula One Team. To be a Formula 1 driver for a manufacturer team is an honour and I hope to reward Renault’s faith in me with my very best performances on track," Sainz said.

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"The trajectory of Renault Sport Formula One Team is exciting and I’m proud to join at such an important time in their history. I am looking forward to working with everyone at Enstone and Viry, and driving alongside Nico Hülkenberg.

"I have worked closely with Renault in Formula 1 and previously in motorsport, so I know their motivation and capabilities. This is the start of a very exciting new chapter in my career.

"I would like to say thank you to Red Bull for all their confidence and support and for allowing me to take this opportunity. Last but not least, I specially want to thank all the people that work in Toro Rosso. They are a fantastic team of professionals and I wish them the best for the future.”

Sainz said over the Austrian Grand Prix weekend that a fourth year with Toro Rosso in 2018 was “unlikely”, only for Red Bull’s racing chiefs to react angrily and stress he remained under contract for next season.

Christian Horner said that Red Bull would consider offers for Sainz, who ultimately came into play as McLaren worked to secure a Renault engine supply for 2018, switching supplies with Toro Rosso. Sainz joins Renault on loan for 2018, with Red Bull retaining an option to recall him for 2019.

Sainz’s move up to Renault leaves Jolyon Palmer without a seat for 2018, but does free up a slot at Toro Rosso for 2016 GP2 champion Pierre Gasly to make the move up to F1.
 

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It was likely things would pan out like this. 

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