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Renault admits driver rumors 'not handled well'

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Cyril Abiteboul acknowledged that the rumors and speculation surrounding the replacement of Jolyon Palmer by Carlos Sainz were "not handled well" by the French team.

Sainz's move to Renault was confirmed in Singapore after weeks of speculation which included the possible return to F1 of Robert Kubica and Jolyon Palmer's early replacement Sainz.

Renault Sport F1 boss Abiteboul admits he could have dealt with the situation better.

"I'm not confirming [wanting Sainz this year] and it's not happening," he told Sky Sports F1.

"There has been this speculation since Montreal. Maybe we haven't handled the speculation well.

"It's true we wanted to try something with Robert [Kubica], and were thinking about next year. But try and see it from Renault's perspective.

"We are coming a bit late from the driver contracts and we had to think outside the box and try and create these options that were maybe not available initially.

"And maybe with these repeated driving occasions with Robert we have created such speculation."

Palmer claims he found out about his demise from Renault through an online message. His chances of remaining in F1 appear remote at this stage, but Abiteboul says they will help him with his future.

"I think it's never easy to handle a separation," Abiteboul added.

"Obviously we had to make a decision but it's happening every season that unfortunately relationships are not extending.
"But we are doing all that we can to help Jolyon think about his future - which may be in Formula 1 or may be somewhere else.

"Although it's a big group, we have involvement in lots of sports and I can guarantee that we want to be very fair to any drivers that are driving for Renault."

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