Prost believes Sainz will improve Renault performance 0

Renault

Formula 1 legend and Renault advisor Alain Prost believes Carlos Sainz Jr will help the team move to the next level of performance.

The French team have borrowed Sainz from Red Bull until the end of 2020; the Spanish driver takes the place of Jolyon Palmer who has had an underwhelming season.

Sainz Jr finished 7th in his first race at the US Grand Prix, a result that Prost believes proves his worth to the team.  

“It’s always a small risk that you take when you change a driver in the middle of the season, but in fact it was exactly what we wanted to have,” Prost told Autosport, adding that he feels the team would be fifth in the standings if it had had two cars regularly scoring points all season.

“We had unfortunately a problem with Nico, and we had Carlos to get points.

“If you want to build something, you cannot have a big hole somewhere.

“It’s not being rude with Jolyon, but we are constructors and we need to have everything not perfect, but better, and we know we have a lot to do still.

“We are not going to develop [the car] very much, so we want to have the two drivers doing more or less what they have done.

“I hope we don’t have reliability problems, and get the two in the points in the last three races, if possible.”

Renault have pursued Sainz for some time and bargained for his move by allowing Toro Rosso to switch engines to Honda. Prost concedes the driver’s future lies with Red Bull.

“In this situation we don’t have all the keys, but the market is very open next year,” he said.

“There is no reason why we should change, but because we don’t have all in our hands, we have to wait a little bit.

“We are lucky to get Carlos, because we wanted him, but we don’t have him for the long term, so we have to be careful.

“For us, that’s not a problem. We are in a period where we are building, so the timing is OK.

“We want to establish a strong relationship with him.”

“Obviously he is young and he has done a few mistakes, but it’s not important,” he added.

“What is important when you are in a works team like this, it’s a bit different. That’s the only message I can give.

“He has to act a little bit different because you have more pressure, and I’m sure he’s ready for that.”

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