Horner – Renault performance is ‘unacceptable’
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has branded Renault’s level of performance during the Austrian Grand Prix as ‘unacceptable’ after Sebastian Vettel’s race was destroyed by a power unit failure and Daniel Ricciardo slumped to eighth.
Vettel, starting 12th, dropped to the rear of the field after an early electrical problem caused his car to grind to a stop, and while the German managed to restart the RB10, he later clashed with Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber, after which he opted to retire the car.
Ricciardo could manage no better than eighth at the chequered flag, after a poor start lost him track position early on, with the Australian struggling to progress owing to the Renault power units lack of straight-line grunt, as well as an instruction from his team to not use the “overtake button” for fear of repeating Vettel’s problem.
Asked for his thoughts on the performance of the current Renault power unit following the race, Horner replied: “It’s frustrating that we’re in the situation that we are.
“The reliability is unacceptable. The performance is unacceptable and there needs to be change at Renault.
“It can’t continue like this. It’s not good for Renault and it’s not good for Red Bull.”
While Horner reaffirmed that Renault and Red Bull would continue their relationship into 2015, he made clear that there must be a notable improvement from the French firm in the future.
“We need to work together as partners,” he added. “There will not be another engine in the back of the car next year, but we want to be competitive and we want to run at the front.
“Something needs to happen because whatever’s being done there isn’t working at the moment.
“It’s not our business, it’s not our responsibility. We’re the end user and it’s just frustrating that the product is not where it needs to be at the moment.”
Renault Sport’s Deputy Managing Director Rob White insists that the French firm understands Red Bull’s frustrations and is working towards a solution.
“The anxiety that Christian feels, and the frustration he feels after a result that is not at the full potential of the performance of car and power unit, is completely understandable and shared by us,” he told AUTOSPORT.
“We know what is expected of us and individually and collectively we must buckle down in the right direction.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Dan Paddock is an FIA accredited freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist and the Grand Prix Editor of Richland F1. Dan joined the site in July 2013 as a Staff Writer, fresh off the back of completing a master’s degree in journalism. Following a promotion, Dan has since gone on to represent Richland F1 at four grands prix. Aside from Richland F1, Dan also writes for Rumble Strip News, as well as maintaining his own modest blog.