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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 September 2018

Carlos Sainz loaned to Renault even as McLaren's Honda Formula One partnership over

British team, a winner of 20 world championships, will switch to Renault power next season in bid to propel them up F1 grid.

Carlos Sainz's move is one of many changes related to McLaren's decision to drop its Honda engines in favour of Renault at the end of this year. Edgar Su / Reuters
Carlos Sainz's move is one of many changes related to McLaren's decision to drop its Honda engines in favour of Renault at the end of this year. Edgar Su / Reuters

Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz will join Renault on loan next season, the French team said on Friday, partnering Nico Hulkenberg and elbowing out Britain's Jolyon Palmer.The move by the 23-year-old Spaniard is one of a number of changes related to McLaren's decision to drop its Honda engines in favour of Renault at the end of this year.

McLaren have put an end to their Honda nightmare after formally confirming they are severing ties with the beleaguered Japanese manufacturer.

The British team, a winner of 20 world championships, will switch to Renault power next season in a desperate bid to propel them up the Formula One grid.

Honda returned to the sport to team up with McLaren in 2015, but the relationship has turned increasingly sour following another year in which they have been plagued with both a slow and unreliable engine.

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"To be a Formula One driver for a manufacturer team is an honour and I hope to reward Renault's faith in me with my very best performances on track," Sainz said in a statement.

Renault's managing director Cyril Abiteboul thanked Red Bull, Toro Rosso's parent company, for loaning Sainz and also praised Palmer for his contribution over the past two seasons.

"He is a dedicated driver and we wish him the best in the next steps of his career," Abiteboul said.

Fernando Alonso could yet remain at McLaren now that the team have a new partner ahead of the new season. Lynn Bo Bo / EPA
Fernando Alonso could yet remain at McLaren now that the team have a new partner ahead of the new season. Lynn Bo Bo / EPA

McLaren's move to Renault, the third best of four engines in the sport, is also likely to be enough to seal Fernando Alonso's short-term future with the team.

Alonso, 36, is out of contract with McLaren at the end of the season, but is set to put pen-to-paper on a one-year extension.

Honda are set to remain on the grid next season and will partner Red Bull's sister team Toro Rosso.

"There has never been any doubt over Honda's commitment and energy to the mission of success in Formula One," McLaren's executive director Zak Brown said.

"They are proven winners and innovators. For a combination of reasons our partnership has not flourished as any of us would have wished.

"It is certainly not for the want of effort on the part of either Honda or McLaren, but the time has come to move ahead in different directions.

"As fellow racers, we hope to see the great name of Honda get back to the top - our sport is better for their involvement. I know this view is shared by everyone in the sport."

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