Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul praised Carlos Sainz for his remarkable debut with the French outfit at the US Grand Prix.
Following his long-awaited move from Toro Rosso to Renault, Sainz warned he would require a period of adaptation but the Spaniard put himself in the groove from the outset in Austin.
His good performances in free practice, in which he was faster than team mate Nico Hulkenberg, were followed by P8 in qualifying and a run to seventh in Sunday’s race.
All in all, an outstanding debut which was hailed Abiteboul.
“I think he did a remarkable job,” Abiteboul told Motorsport.com.
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“It’s not easy to change teams in the middle of a season. There have been previous circumstances when things have not happened that way in other teams in the history of F1.
“It’s a move that we were all looking forward to. There was lots of preparation put into that. It’s not easy with a busy weekend between Suzuka and this race.
“A lot has happened to get everything ready and that is to the credit of him first but also to the team that has done such a good job all together.”
Hulkenberg’s early retirement yesterday after an oil pressure issue likely prevented a double-points finish for the French squad, but Sainz’s result now sees the team snapping at the heels of Toro Rosso in the Constructors’ standings, with just a five-point deficit.
“It was a great debut for me with Renault and I really enjoyed myself out there,” said Sainz.
“Right from the beginning, every lap I was feeling more confident with the car, so I was able to push harder.
“I was able to attack the Force Indias, which have been out of reach for the team for the past few races, so to overtake one and attack another was a great result.
“Everything has gone very smoothly the whole weekend; I knew I could be quick and I had confidence in myself. The whole team has really helped me out and that was key to adapt quickly.
“To have such a good qualifying and race makes me really happy and I have great thanks for every single member of the team.”
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