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Toro Rosso "had to say something" about Renault criticism

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Toro Rosso "had to say something" about Renault criticism
By:
Nov 15, 2017, 5:15 PM

Scuderia Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost says he felt he had to defend his Formula 1 team after Renault suggested that the way it operated its power units had contributed to the run of recent failures.

Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director, Renault Sport F1 Team, Helmut Markko, Consultant, Red Bull Racing, Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing
Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12, Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C36
Franz Tost, Scuderia Toro Rosso Team Principal
Franz Tost, Scuderia Toro Rosso Team Principal
Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport F1 Managing Director
Brendon Hartley, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12, Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C36
Yusuke Hasegawa, Senior Managing Officer, Honda, shakes hands with Franz Tost, Team Principal, Scuderia Toro Rosso
Brendon Hartley, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12

In Brazil, Cyril Abiteboul told Motorsport.com that there were "never coincidences in this sport" and Toro Rosso subsequently issued a statement denying that it was at fault.

It suggested that Renault's own pursuit of sixth place in the constructors' championship – currently held by the Faenza team – had played a role in recent events.

That statement in turn infuriated Renault, and brought a clarification from Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko.

"I had the feeling that I had to say something," Tost told Motorsport.com. "You know, that if the team is being criticised, and we feel this is not 100 percent correct, then we have to give a statement. And this is what we did.

"Whether it's done correctly or not is another question. We just clarified our point of view."

Asked if the matter was now over, he said: "I think so, I didn't hear anything any more, so that's it."

Renault scored one point in Brazil with Nico Hulkenberg's 10th place, so Toro Rosso still holds a slender four-point advantage, with Haas a further two points behind.

Tost said the drop from sixth to eighth could cost STR $6.5m in F1 prize money, making Abu Dhabi a critical race for all three teams.

"It's very stressful. Regarding Toro Rosso we'll try to prepare in the best possible way, with as many reliable parts as we have. Regarding our power unit supplier we don't have this under our control, this is their decision."

Tost was encouraged to see future engine supplier Honda have a strong race with Fernando Alonso in Brazil.

"That's fantastic, I've just congratulated Hasegawa-san, because they did a good job. I hope they can do the same in Abu Dhabi."

Marko admitted that the ongoing problems were frustrating for both Red Bull teams.

"Of course it's not satisfying," he told Motorsport.com. "They haven't cured the problem yet, and they're running out of parts, and then the situation happens like it does.

"Unfortunately Toro Rosso was affected more than any other team, so that's why the emotion went up.

"We discussed it, we made a statement, and everything is OK. We are in a close fight with Renault for position six, but we are still ahead."

Marko said that there were reliability worries over Max Verstappen's car in Brazil, following a change to a high mileage MGU-H for Saturday, but Red Bull still hopes to avoid penalties in Abu Dhabi.

"We were worried about Max, so we were looking after temperature and revs for the MGU-H. But five Renault engines finished.

"At least all the engines stayed together, and from this point of view we should start without penalties in Abu Dhabi, but it's not clear yet."

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Series Formula 1
Teams Toro Rosso Shop Now
Author Adam Cooper