Carlos Sainz Jr. believes Renault can be "very proud" after charging into Q3 in his first Formula 1 qualifying appearance for the team ahead of the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

Sainz completed his planned move for 2018 from Toro Rosso to Renault four races early after the French team agreed to part company with Jolyon Palmer, allowing the Red Bull-backed youngster to make his debut for the team at the Circuit of The Americas.

Sainz predicted it would take him some time to get up to speed with Renault, only to impress throughout practice and lead it charge in qualifying, finishing eighth overall in Q3.

The result saw Renault teammate Nico Hulkenberg get outqualified for the first time this season as the German finished 15th, having taken no part in Q2 due to a grid penalty.

"Yellow suits me so far, yes! I can be pleased with how everything has gone," Sainz said.

"I think we can be very proud, my side of the garage they've helped me a lot with this new challenge.

"Today was not easy, the wind picking up, the track temp going up, to see how the car was going to react in Q1 to those changes after an engine change before qualifying which I think made everything a bit more rushed.

"It was a very good reaction, very good first days with yellow. I can be very proud, yes."

Sainz admitted there were a number of differences between his old Toro Rosso car and his new Renault runner, making the result all the more impressive given his lack of time in the R.S.17.

"It requires a different driving style, a different reaction to the wind, with track temp, different brake pedal, different power steering. Everything is different," Sainz said.

"But during my life, I've always liked adapting to new cars and I've always enjoyed it. I've always gone into it with a very positive mindset to these kind of challenges.

"So far it's helping me, and the guys in the garage are helping me to adapt, and it's been a very good start for all of us."

Sainz will make his Renault F1 debut from P7 on the grid tomorrow, gaining a position after Max Verstappen was hit with a grid penalty for changing parts on his power unit.


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