Red Bull and Renault row escalates

p31393Sport-4-1

Published: Wednesday 25th March 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

The fallout between Red Bull and Renault shows no sign of easing as the team have now been accused of “lies” by their power-unit supplier.

After four years of success from 2010-2013, when Red Bull and Renault swept aside their rivals to lay claim to the constructors’ and drivers’ titles over that period, the pair have now resorted to public mud-slinging.

Renault has struggled to cope with last year’s change to the rules and the introduction of the 1.6-litre V6 turbo-charged power unit.

In turn, Red Bull have struggled to cope with being second rate, in particular as rivals Mercedes have now taken over the dominant role.

Following the recent season-opening Australian Grand Prix, the Red Bull hierarchy tore into Renault as belief over the winter they would close the gap to Mercedes was left in tatters around Melbourne’s Albert Park.

Team principal Christian Horner claimed Renault’s power unit was “undriveable” and 100bhp down on that of Mercedes.

Chief technical officer Adrian Newey added there to be “no light at the end of the tunnel” with regard to a power unit that possesses “all sorts of failings”.

Advisor Helmut Marko even went so far as to suggest billionaire benefactor Dietrich Mateschitz could decide to quit F1 if matters failed to improve.

In response, Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul has come out swinging in an article in French magazine Auto Hebdo, notably at Newey.

Asked about the comments from Newey, the most successful designer in F1’s history, Abiteboul replied: “It’s hard to have a partner who lies.

“Adrian is a charming gentleman and an outstanding engineer, but he has spent his life criticising his engine manufacturers. He’s too old to change.”

Abiteboul does at least concede to Renault’s failings due to a number of late technical developments which have not worked.

Far from making excuses, Abiteboul admits the current situation to be “scandalous, frustrating, sad”.

However, he also points an accusing finger at Red Bull as he feels Renault should not shoulder the blame alone.

“Added to this (the power unit issue) is that Red Bull has some chassis problems that do not help the situation,” added Abiteboul.

“In particular the lack of rear stability. Both issues means the car is difficult to drive.”

Abiteboul at least added a degree of levity to the seriousness of the situation as he cheekily issued a tweet that read: “Packing up to Malaysia. Race (round?) 2”, accompanied by a photograph of a pair of boxing gloves.

Intriguingly, Horner and Abiteboul are to appear in Friday’s main FIA press conference ahead of this weekend’s race in Sepang.

Published: Wednesday 25th March 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search