Renault: Early Carlos Sainz Jr move a jump start ahead of 2018
|By Adam Cooper and Lawrence Barretto||Thursday, October 12th 2017, 09:51 GMT|
Renault Formula 1 boss Cyril Abiteboul says getting Carlos Sainz Jr on board for the last four races of this season provides the team with a "jump start" for 2018.
Sainz was originally due to switch from Toro Rosso on loan from Red Bull over the winter, but after replacing Jolyon Palmer early Renault can benefit from his presence for longer.
"We are in a situation where we are really against the clock if we want to meet our ambition and our target of being almost at the highest level by 2020," Abiteboul told Autosport.
"There is no time to lose. And we need to fast track in every possible way.
"With 2020 in mind, 2019 in mind, we've done this move.
"It's not just for grabbing a couple of points in the championship, it's much more the bigger picture and a longer-term plan that played into this decision.
"We've had a lot of comments that one year, as a loan, was not a lot, so we clearly we have to make it work as well as possible, and we called him for a little bit of a jump start.
"Whatever we do this year, he will know the team, so all the acclimatisation to the team and to the car, that will be done, so we don't have that collective excuse next year.
"Next year will be all about scoring points immediately, very early in the season.
"We have a technical programme where we want to have reliability right as soon as the winter tests, so we have everything ready."
Sainz believes the early switch is "very important" to help him make a success of the move to Renault, although he knows it's going to be difficult to match up well with Nico Hulkenberg over the final races of 2017.
"My target is to be on the pace as quickly as possible, but it doesn't come for free," he said.
"It's going to be difficult because [Hulkenberg] has been driving a car for 16 races that I haven't driven.
"I would like to adapt as soon as possible but I am convinced it will take a bit of time.
"There will be a lot of hard work, analysis, understanding with the engineers how to drive the car, and if it happens, it happens."