P6 in Abu Dhabi 'payback' for France and Mexico - Carlos Sainz Jr
Carlos Sainz Jr described his sixth-place finish at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as 'payback' for problems he suffered in the French and Mexican Grands Prix earlier in the 2018 Formula 1 season.
The 24-year old rounded out his season with a solid drive after 55 laps of the Yas Marina circuit to bring his Renault R.S.18 across the line as 'best of the rest'.
The Spaniard finished in eighth at Paul Ricard after running as high as third at one stage, before being passed by the Daniel Ricciardo and the two Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.
In Mexico, his race was curtailed on lap 28 after a battery problem took him out of the top midfield position, leaving team-mate Nico Hulkenberg to take that honour instead.
Sainz had missed out on the final part of qualifying which meant a free-tyre choice ahead of the race, he ran long on the ultrasoft tyres before switching to red-marked supersofts to get him to the chequered flag.
"Today was a really great result for us and this sixth place feels a bit like payback for France and Mexico," said Sainz Jr.
"We deserve it! I had a very strong pace all the way and it was a perfectly executed race. We achieved fourth in the Constructors’ Championship and it is a very big result for us.
"This last race of the season firmly demonstrates all the progress made this year. I leave this team feeling very happy with what we’ve achieved and as a driver, it makes me especially motivated.
"This was my last race with the Renault team and I thank everyone for the last year and a half. I’m not leaving the family and look forward to continuing to see many of my Renault colleagues as I join McLaren."
Sainz finished the season 10th in the Driver's Championship and will be testing with his new McLaren team in the post-race tyre test in Abu Dhabi.