Sainz mum on Renault move

Carlos Sainz could be driving his final race in a Toro Rosso car this weekend.

The 23-year-old, ninth in the Formula One drivers' standings with 36 points this season, has reportedly secured a move to Renault, and could race for his new team as early as the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang on Oct 1.

Yet, he remained tight-lipped about his likely move last night at an event held at data back-up and protection firm Acronis' office at Suntec City.

He said: "I know there have been a lot of rumours that have been going around, a lot of things have been said. But for me, I prefer to focus on this weekend.

"I've come here motivated as a Toro Rosso driver to score as many points as possible."

He is reportedly replacing Britain's Jolyon Palmer, who has yet to score a point after 13 races.

The reported move is part of a complex merry-go-round that could involve Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso using Honda engines, and McLaren ditching Honda to take up Renault power.

Sainz's team-mate Daniil Kvyat was glad to stay away from all the distracting rumours.

The 23-year-old Russian joked: "It's perfect for me, I don't have to answer any stupid questions."

When asked about how he felt going into what could be their last race as team-mates, he added, with a bit of sarcastic laughter: "Very sad, (you will) see my tears.

"Whatever happens, sooner or later at some point, you might see us again together. Throughout our careers, at some points, we had crossed paths. I hope that's going to be the case. But I don't know what's going to happen, it's his future, not mine."

Sainz was far more forthcoming when asked whom he thinks will take the chequered flag at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on Sunday.

"(Ferrari's Sebastian) Vettel," was his instant reply.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2017, with the headline 'Sainz mum on Renault move'. Print Edition | Subscribe