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Sainz joins Renault from USGP onwards; Kvyat, Gasly to finish season for Toro Rosso

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Renault has confirmed that Carlos Sainz Jr. will make his Formula 1 debut with the team at the United States Grand Prix later this month, completing his move from Toro Rosso four races early.

Daniil Kvyat will return to Toro Rosso after two races out and partner Pierre Gasly, who will not contest the Super Formula finale as a result.

Minutes after Jolyon Palmer announced via Instagram he would be leaving Renault after this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, the French marque issued a statement confirming Sainz from the Austin race until the end of the season.

Sainz had been due to join Renault for the 2018 season, with the team making efforts to sign him as early as Malaysia, but only reached an agreement with Palmer to terminate the contract after Suzuka.

“First of all I would like to thank Toro Rosso and Red Bull for allowing me the possibility of finishing this season with Renault Sport Racing,” Sainz said.

“More specifically, I really want to thank all my engineers and mechanics for their support and tremendous work throughout these years. Toro Rosso is made up of a fantastic group of people and I wish them only the best for the future.

“On my side, I will definitely do my very best in tomorrow’s race – this would be the best possible send-off! Additionally, competing in these last four races with Renault gives me a good opportunity to get to know the team and the car earlier than expected. I am looking forward to start working with them.”

Kvyat was dropped by Toro Rosso due to poor form after the Singapore Grand Prix, making way for 2016 GP2 champion Gasly, but will be drafted back in to replace Sainz.

The announcement from Toro Rosso also confirmed Gasly for the USGP, meaning he will not fight for the Super Formula title in Japan despite sitting just half a point behind the leader heading into the season finale.

More to follow…

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)