Carlos Sainz Jnr is expected to switch to Renault for the 2018 Formula 1 season as part of complex engine negotiations between Renault, McLaren, Toro Rosso, and Honda.
It’s understood McLaren wants to switch from Honda to Renault power next year after three disappointing seasons with the Japanese manufacturer.
Toro Rosso, who currently has a contract to use Renault engines, wants to switch to Honda for 2018, and sources have told Autosport a Sainz deal is part of a sweetener to allow the team to end its contract early.
Sainz is currently expected to finish 2017 with Toro Rosso, but could move to Renault as early as the Malaysian Grand Prix at the end of the month. The Spaniard would replace Jolyon Palmer, who is yet to score a point this season.
The Toro Rosso line-up is still undecided. The team has Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly waiting in the wings, but Honda junior Nobuharu Matsushita could also be an option.
Feature image credit: Creative Commons / Morio