Renault debutant Carlos Sainz is “ready to hit the ground running” in Austin, while team-mate Nico Hulkenberg is looking forward to working with him.
Nico Hulkenberg: “Austin is a cool town and a great place to be, I really like going to Texas. I love the track a lot and, out of all the modern tracks built in the last few years, this is a standout. The design is outstanding with a lot of cool corner combinations which flow really well. Sector one reminds me of Silverstone as it’s very quick and flowing. That’s what us drivers are after and it puts a big smile on our faces! Finding a good balance is important because, if you don’t, it will mean you will struggle. Austin is high on brake wear and fuel consumption, so it’s quite demanding in that regard, but nevertheless one of the really fun race weekends. I’m looking forward to working with Carlos. We need to finish off the season well together to help the team in the Constructors’ standings. I’ll be doing everything I can to help him hit the ground running with the team, but he is a very capable driver with a bright future. He has shown what he can do in Formula 1 and we’ll be aiming for a positive start to our partnership in Austin.”
Carlos Sainz: “I’m very excited to joining the team and I hope to hit the ground running. We have some hard work ahead of us going into Austin with lots of things to learn and many people to meet. I’m going to give everything to be on the pace as soon as possible even though I know it can take a bit of time to adapt, but I’m confident we can do it. It’s key to have this immediate taste with Renault and get to know the people and the car. It’s a big challenge, but it motivates me. We have this last push for the season and I have to find where the limit of the car is, get used to the steering wheel, things like that. That’s the procedure and I will embrace the challenge. It’s good to see the people at Enstone putting the work in to get back to the top. They can be sure all the effort being put in is being matched on my side of things and I will be pushing flat out to help the team. Austin is one of my favourite tracks and I had one of my best races in Formula 1 there last year, finishing sixth. I can go there with confidence as I know how to go fast in Austin. I just need that adaptation to the car and the engineers. The first sector is special, it’s one of these modern tracks which is well designed, very fast with quick changes of direction and high G-forces. I love these sort of tracks and it’s a good opportunity for me to test the limit of the R.S.17. [Nico and I] are very close together in the championship, but we haven’t had too many on-track battles. I’m really looking forward to working with Nico. I think he is a great driver and one of the most talented on the grid. He has lots of experience in Formula 1 so I will learn from him as soon as I can. Hopefully we can both help the team move further up in the championship before the end of the season.