Early Renault split made sense, says Palmer

Sainz crash and heavy rain delay practice sessions in Japan // Suzuka weekend off to a difficult start for all

The move set off a chain reaction of announcements, as Renault confirmed that Carlos Sainz had been released by Toro Rosso to complete his move to the French manufacturer early and contest the rest of the 2017 season with the team.

Toro Rosso has chosen to keep Gasly, who replaced Kvyat in Malaysia and this weekend in Japan, in place for Austin, meaning he will miss the opportunity to win the Super Formula title at Suzuka.

Sainz said competing in the final four races of the season would help with his preparation ahead of his full-season debut with the team in 2018.

While insisting he "wouldn't have minded" seeing out the campaign with Toro Rosso, the Spaniard said that the Renault move can only be beneficial.

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

Sainz was due to join from Toro Rosso at the end of the season but Renault said in a statement that the team and Palmer had now agreed to end their relationship by mutual agreement after Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix. About halfway through the session, however, Carlos Sainz crashed heavily in his Toro Rosso, ending with the vehicle sprawling across the track and bringing out the red flags.

Regarding his race through the field, Palmer stated; "From 18th on the grid, I think finishing 12th is about as good as we could of done, apart from if we didn't have the VSC at the end [deployed for Lance Stroll's stricken Williams] and had one more lap".

Neir Renault nor Carlos Sainz wanted to wait any longer.

"We go in separate ways and I'll work on something else in the future".

Palmer, a former GP2 champion, was a reserve driver with Lotus before landing a full-time race seat with the rebranded Renault in 2016.

Palmer finished his season with eight points following his one and only points finish at Singapore.

"Toro Rosso is made up of a fantastic group of people and I wish them only the best for the future".

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