Carlos Sainz wasn’t expecting the early move to Renault, revealing he was only told half an hour before the announcement.
Renault confirmed on Saturday that Sainz would move to his 2018 team in the wake of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend.
The Enstone team have been eager to bring the Spaniard in as soon as possible, but a reluctant Jolyon Palmer – who was adamant he would see out the rest of the season – made the sudden announcement via Instagram that the Japan race would be his last.
Even Sainz wasn’t expecting the early move.
“I actually knew about half an hour before the announcement so it was quite unexpected from my side,” he told Crash.net.
“A big surprise like for you guys!
“My manager let me know that Cyril [Abiteboul] had told him.”
As for his feelings when he heard about his imminent move, he said: “Not many, because I was so focused on today [Sunday’s Japanese GP] that I didn’t realise it.
“When I went to bed I was happy because I knew it was a good chance for me to adapt to the car a bit earlier than we expected, to get to know my engineers, the team, the mechanics a bit earlier.
“I liked it, although I was not very emotional or happy because I was so focused on the weekend that it was difficult to take the mind out of that.”