Renault's Formula One team will drop Jolyon Palmer after Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix
SHOWS: SHANGHAI, CHINA (APRIL 13, 2016) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. CLOSE UP OF JOLYON PALMER 2. RENAULT F1 DRIVERS, KEVIN MAGNUSSEN (LEFT) AND JOLYON PALMER (RIGHT) WITH KARTING'S SUN YUE YANG (CENTRE) 3. VARIOUS OF 2016 RENAULT F1 CAR LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (FEBRUARY 21, 2017) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 4. CLOSE UP OF JOLYON PALMER AT 2017 RENAULT LAUNCH 5. DRIVER NICO HULKENBERG (LEFT) AND DRIVER JOLYON PALMER STANDING BEHIND RENAULT RS17 CAR 6. JOLYON PALMER TALKING TO REPORTER (2 SHOTS) STORY: Renault's under-performing Jolyon Palmer will be replaced by Spanish driver Carlos Sainz for the last four races of the Formula One season, Renault said on Saturday (October 6). Sainz was due to join from Toro Rosso at the end of the year but Renault said in a statement that the team and Palmer had now agreed to end their relationship by mutual agreement after Sunday's (October 7) Japanese Grand Prix. The remaining races are the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi. "The Japanese Grand Prix will be my last race for Renault. It's been an extremely challenging season and I've been through a lot in the last three years, but it's been a tremendous journey overall with the team," Palmer said. Since first racing for Renault at the 2016 Australian Grand Prix, 26-year-old Palmer scored just one point last season and has drawn a blank in all but one of his races this year, finishing sixth in Singapore. Sainz is officially joining Renault on loan from Red Bull as part of a deal that allows Toro Rosso to terminate their engine contract with the French manufacturer and start a new partnership with Honda. His early departure will see the return to Toro Rosso in Austin of Russian driver Daniil Kvyat, who was recently dropped to make way for French rookie Pierre Gasly. The Italy-based team, who have yet to finalise their 2018 lineup, confirmed that move in a separate statement.