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Japanese GP: Early Renault split made sense, reckons Palmer

Jolyon Palmer Renault F1 team

Jolyon Palmer admits that the timing of his departure from Renault "made sense" following the conclusion of a "strange" farewell Japanese Grand Prix.

The Suzuka race was Palmer's last for the Renault team, which will replace him with Carlos Sainz Jr from the United States GP later this month.

Palmer announced his departure after qualifying on Saturday and now faces an uncertain future after ending his Renault career with a 12th-place finish.

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

"It's been pretty clear, Carlos has signed for next year and Cyril [Abiteboul] l made it clear he wanted him in the car this year as well.

"After this race it's a couple of weeks gap and it made sense for it to be the time to part ways.

"It's a shame for me not to finish the season, I've been here a while.

"I respect the decision and wish Carlos and the team all the best for the future."

Have your say on Palmer's depature on the Autosport Forum

Asked how his mindset would change having focused on the race, Palmer replied: "I don't know.

"On the plane back home it'll probably sink in that I'm not with Renault and maybe not F1 again."

Sainz crashed out of his final grand prix for Toro Rosso, after spinning into the barriers on the opening lap.

He described it as a "sad way to end" his tenure at Toro Rosso and said it was a result of taking a risk to try and make up ground early in the race.

"I started on the soft tyre, obviously this gives you a bit less grip, and I was expecting we had to gain places at the start," he said.

"It was a one-stop race with not much going on. I tried to risk it, normally it works, but today it didn't.

"I went around the outside at Turn 6, found a lot more dust and dirt than I was expecting, I had a snap and lost the car.

"Nothing to regret, I was pushing hard for the team in this last race.

"I needed to risk at the start and it didn't work."

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