Cyril Abiteboul insists Carlos Sainz Jr. had a major impact in helping the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team secure sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship in 2017 despite the Spaniard only competing in the final four races for the team.
Sainz switched across from Scuderia Toro Rosso ahead of the United States Grand Prix in place of Jolyon Palmer and despite experiencing the RS17 for the first time in opening practice, he went on to impress and secure an excellent seventh place finish, with the six points he scored going a long way in helping Renault leapfrog his former team.
Renault Team Principal Abiteboul says the Spaniard did extremely well in his short time with the team and showed the team some kind of direction aimed at 2018, where Sainz will join the team full-time alongside Nico Hülkenberg, who scored the points that secured sixth place in the championship in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“He’s clearly brought lots of energy, he’s brought his motivation, his willingness to continue to progress and to continue to show what he’s capable of outside of the sort of Red Bull environment which is a very good environment but sometimes also a strong environment for a driver to cope with,” said Abiteboul on Racer.
“So he’s done that, he’s also scored some points. But also he’s shown some very useful directions for the development for next year, because he’s coming from a different environment. He was capable of bringing some ideas, suggestions.
“He’s got a very good understanding of the mechanics of the car, the fundamentals of the car – and it’s coming at a time when things were not complete for next year, so that’s very useful and we are happy to have made that decision.”