Sainz's Renault debut 'very close to perfect'

Renault's decision to sign Carlos Sainz Jr early paid dividends as he secured a seventh-place finish at the United States Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz Jr leads Max Verstappen at the US GP.   -  Getty Images

Carlos Sainz Jr hailed a "very close to perfect" debut with Renault after coming home seventh at the United States Grand Prix.

Spaniard Sainz saw his 2018 move from Toro Rosso brought forward after Renault came to an agreement to terminate Jolyon Palmer's contract following a woefully below-par campaign from the Briton.

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The decision was quickly vindicated as Sainz managed to match team-mate Nico Hulkenberg's pace in practice and even outqualified the German, although engine penalties did influence the other car's tactics.

After splitting the once again quarrelling Force India duo Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, Sainz believes more is to come as Renault plot a return to the fight at the front in 2018.

"So far, we've done our first weekend very close to perfect," Sainz said.

"We need to continue like that. Thanks to all of them for making me feel so at home right from the beginning and giving me a competitive car.

"I think we have still a big margin of improvement, all of us, but it will come with more races and more experience.

"It's very difficult to have gone any better than it has been. We put together a really, really strong weekend right from FP1 to the last lap of the race.

"Even in the race we went from less to more, we were picking up pace, attacking first Checo and then Esteban. A shame I ran out of fuel in the last three or four laps and I couldn't attack Esteban, but really fun."

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