Renault wanted Ricciardo, settled for Sainz in engine deal!


As it entered negotiations with Red Bull to terminate its contract with Toro Rosso, Renault pushed its luck and tried to secure the services of Daniel Ricciardo for 2018.

From the outset of the complicated discussions between Red Bull, McLaren and Renault, it was clear that the French manufacturer would require an incentive, or sweetener, to encourage it to prematurely scrap its deal with Toro Rosso, and transfer its engine supply contract to McLaren.

Ultimately, Red Bull agreed to release Carlos Sainz, highly rated by Renault, but only under the condition that the Spaniard could be brought back into the Red Bull pen in 2019, if required.

According to reports, Renault however initially had their sights on the Honey Badger, whose contract with Red Bull expires at the end of next year.

The energy drinks company predictably refused to consider releasing Ricciardo, but yielded to Renault's second choice, Carlos Sainz.

The French team is apparently pushing to get the Spaniard in the car as early as Malaysia in two weeks time, but this would likely require an agreement with Jolyon Palmer, the man who currently occupies Sainz's future seat.

The Briton was adamant yesterday that he would see out the rest of the season with his current employer. Should Renault attempt to force the issue, costly litigation could ensue.

"I have a contract. I’ve got seven more races this year," said Palmer.

"There have been suggestions for the past 35 races that I might not be at the next one, or in the next few, so this is nothing new for me. It’s water off a duck’s back now.

"It’s the same, I think at probably most races this year it’s been the case and nothing has changed."

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