Carlos Sainz says that he feels proud of the time he has spent with Renault, saying that it was a "dream come true" to race with a works team. Sainz joined Renault towards the end of the 2017 season, replacing a struggling Jolyon Palmer.
He contested the 2018 season with the Enstone outfit alongside Nco Hulkenberg, recording a best finish of fifth in Baku. This weekend at Abu Dhabi will be the Spaniard's last race with Renault, as he will leave to take on a seat at McLaren for the 2019 season.
Reflecting on his 14 months with the team, he commented: "I’ve really enjoyed my time with Renault over the past 14 months. They say Enstone has a family feel and I felt at ease and very welcome from day one. To drive for a manufacturer team is a dream come true and I’m very proud to be part of the history of such an important brand in Formula 1.
“On track, the results have been good on a whole, very consistent and that’s something I can be proud about. As a driver, I take with me very valuable experiences and I’m looking forward to staying part of the Renault family with McLaren next season.”
Sainz is aiming to end the year on a high and finish inside the top ten at the 2018 finale. Renault is currently 22 points ahead of Haas for fourth in the standings, and will be looking to secure the place by bouncing back after scoring zero points last time out in Brazil.
"We’ll be doing our homework to ensure we’re best prepared and can hit the ground running right from Friday practice,” he said. “We would like a bit more performance from the car for the last race and I know the team is working hard to get back into the points there. Hopefully it will be a good last race for the team and I can end this spell on a really bright note."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing