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Austin is the seventeenth race on the 2017 calendar and the first of three races in the Americas as we concentrate on reaching our objective and finishing the season on a bright note.

I want to start by mentioning Carlos’ arrival to the team. We would like to thank Jolyon for his efforts with the Renault Sport team over the last two seasons. He has worked extremely hard to help the team and we have always appreciated his professionalism and loyalty. We wish him the very best for his future.

We welcome Carlos to the team ready for the US Grand Prix and we are looking forward to working with him. His arrival is important for the remainder of this season, and also for our 2018 season preparations. It gives us an advantage to use these final four races with Carlos in the car as a transitional period and get him up to speed with the car and the team.

The US Grand Prix is an important race for us, as we remain in the fight for fifth place in the Constructors’ standings. We are hugely disappointed to go back-to-back races without scoring a point, which has benefitted our rival teams. Our strategy with both cars on Sunday in Japan put us into a good position, but a flap pivot bracket failed on the rear wing of Nico’s car and forced him out. We are missing out on points due to reliability and it’s essential that we have an error-free weekend in Austin. We must not let anything go and we head into the final four races with a different dynamic. The car will benefit from upgrades and it’s therefore essential we score points.

Again, like in Malaysia, it was positive to see Red Bull on the podium once more in Japan. This demonstrates the Renault engine is working well on race day and is getting closer to the top step once again.

Formula 1 will join together with the Susan G. Komen organisation over the weekend in Austin to promote awareness for breast cancer. With the US Grand Prix coinciding with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we will be wearing the colour pink with pride. This will include staff members at the track wearing pink APL trainers, as well as both cars designed with some special, pink features.

Ready to rock
Technical Director Nick Chester discusses the challenges of Austin as the season heads into the final furlong.

What are your thoughts on the Circuit of the Americas?
It’s an exciting track with a real mixture of corners. The first sector is quite high speed except for the uphill hairpin of turn one. After that, it’s right, left, right through the S-like bends at high speed. Then you’ve got a decent back straight and sector three has some low speed sections which will be hard on the rear tyres. It’s a real blend of interesting corners which means it’s hard to get a good balance all the way around. We have a fairly decent knowledge of the track and a good understanding of the varying temperatures throughout the day which again affect car balance.

Do we have any bodywork updates for Austin?
We will have some bodywork updates to the bargeboards and diffuser, as well as updated drum flicks. We’re still bringing updates to the R.S.17 whenever we can.

How do you reflect on Suzuka?
Firstly, it was a shame not to send Jolyon off on a bright note and we wish him all the best with his future endeavours. It’s disappointing to not bring points home but there are some strong positives from the weekend. Both cars had good starts, pace in clear air was competitive and tyre wear and degradation were well under control. The strategy choice was good and we would have had a comfortable eighth place with a chance at the Force Indias without the excursion and flap pivot bracket failure. These things can happen and we will be doing our best to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

On Song
Nico Hülkenberg is aiming to return to the top ten following the frustrating Asian triple-header which left him without points.

What do you like about Austin?
Austin is a cool town and a great place to be, I really like going to Texas. I love the track a lot and, out of all the modern tracks built in the last few years, this is a standout. The design is outstanding with a lot of cool corner combinations which flow really well. Sector one reminds me of Silverstone as it’s very quick and flowing. That’s what us drivers are after and it puts a big smile on our faces! Finding a good balance is important because, if you don’t, it will mean you will struggle. Austin is high on brake wear and fuel consumption, so it’s quite demanding in that regard, but nevertheless one of the really fun race weekends.

What are your thoughts from Suzuka?
It was a very tricky weekend. The race was going well, we were on the harder tyre doing a long first stint, but I made my life a bit harder by running wide in the second Degner. I pitted late and came out behind Massa and the two Haas cars. I had DRS open and the wing didn’t close; it wasn’t reparable and it ended our race. I would have had a good chance to go through those guys ahead and into eighth. That’s racing, though, things like this happen, but we move on and focus on Austin where want some points again!

Are you excited to partner Carlos?
I’m looking forward to working with Carlos. We need to finish off the season well together to help the team in the Constructors’ standings. I’ll be doing everything I can to help him hit the ground running with the team, but he is a very capable driver with a bright future. He has shown what he can do in Formula 1 and we’ll be aiming for a positive start to our partnership in Austin.

The First Chapter
Carlos Sainz arrives at the team with a wealth of knowledge and success in Renault machinery throughout his career. And the 23-year-old is excited for his first outing in the R.S.17 around one of his favourite Formula 1 circuits.

How are you looking forward to working with the team?
I’m very excited to joining the team and I hope to hit the ground running. We have some hard work ahead of us going into Austin with lots of things to learn and many people to meet. I’m going to give everything to be on the pace as soon as possible even though I know it can take a bit of time to adapt, but I’m confident we can do it.

What are the main challenges that come with your arrival?
It’s key to have this immediate taste with Renault and get to know the people and the car. It’s a big challenge, but it motivates me. We have this last push for the season and I have to find where the limit of the car is, get used to the steering wheel, things like that. That’s the procedure and I will embrace the challenge. It’s good to see the people at Enstone putting the work in to get back to the top. They can be sure all the effort being put in is being matched on my side of things and I will be pushing flat out to help the team.

What do you make of Austin as a circuit?
It’s one of my favourite tracks and I had one of my best races in Formula 1 there last year, finishing sixth. I can go there with confidence as I know how to go fast in Austin. I just need that adaptation to the car and the engineers. The first sector is special, it’s one of these modern tracks which is well designed, very fast with quick changes of direction and high G-forces. I love these sort of tracks and it’s a good opportunity for me to test the limit of the R.S.17.

Are you looking forward to pairing up with Nico?
We are very close together in the championship, but we haven’t had too many on-track battles. I’m really looking forward to working with Nico. I think he is a great driver and one of the most talented on the grid. He has lots of experience in Formula 1 so I will learn from him as soon as I can. Hopefully we can both help the team move further up in the championship before the end of the season.

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