Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul has moved to deflect some of the recent criticism from Red Bull principals by pointing out that their chassis partn...
Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul has moved to deflect some of the recent criticism from Red Bull principals by pointing out that their chassis partners are also responsible for the lap time deficit to the all conquering Mercedes cars.
Ahead of this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix the ongoing tension between the French engine manufacturer and the Milton Keynes-based squad continued to ratchet higher following recent comments from Red Bull boss Christian Horner that Renault were in "a bit of a mess."
But Abiteboul, while acknowledging the shortcomings of the Renault engine, fired his own salvo by claiming that Red Bull's contribution to the package is also behind the leading opposition and has called on all the parties to work together to close the gap.
"Australia certainly wasn’t an easy weekend and we fell short of our own expectations, and those of our clients," said the Frenchman. "We need to work together to understand our issues, both within the Power Unit and the chassis.
"Our figures have shown that the laptime deficit between Red Bull and Mercedes in Melbourne was equally split between driveability issues, engine performance and chassis performance. It’s therefore the overall package that needs some help and we have been working with the team to move forward."
He went further in a preview in French magazine Auto Hebdo, appearing to call Red Bull's Adrian Newey a liar for his criticisms of Renault,
"It’s difficult to have a partner who lies," Abiteboul is quoted as saying. "Adrian is a charming man and an engineer without parallel, but he’s spent his life criticising engine partners. He’s too old to change his ways."
The Frenchman also tweeted a photo of a pair of boxing gloves among his packing
for Malaysia, saying he was expecting "Round 2" this weekend. Abiteboul is set to appear alongside Red Bull's Christian Horner in Friday's FIA press conference.
Abiteboul believes that the engine will be significantly improved in terms of driveability in Sepang and that significant progress has been made since Melbourne.
"We’ve been particularly aggressive in development and we should see the results a lot more clearly in Malaysia, particularly since we have had the opportunity to refine the PU using the data from Australia.
"Work is still ongoing but even now we are in a completely different place to where we finished Melbourne."
Daniel Ricciardo was the best Renault finisher in Australia, trailing home sixth behind the Ferrari-powered Sauber of rookie Felipe Nasr while team mate Daniil Kvyat failed to start following a gearbox oil pressure problem on the out lap to the grid.Renault has 12 upgrade 'tokens' available to help develop its power unit during the season, two more than Ferrari and five more than Mercedes.
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