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Red Bull’s Horner calls out “unacceptable” Renault

Jun 23, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT

Christian Horner AP

A eighth-place performance from Daniel Ricciardo and a retirement from Sebastian Vettel was far from what Red Bull was hoping for on its home track Sunday in Austria.

Afterwards, team boss Christian Horner went on the offensive against engine supplier Renault with a broad attack.

“The reliability is unacceptable. The performance is unacceptable and there needs to be change at Renault,” he said to reporters at the Red Bull Ring.

Over the weekend, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko had indicated that the team could go as far as to build its own engine in the future after what has been a trying 2014 season so far.

Such is the state of frustration at Red Bull, which has fallen behind Mercedes in the wake of Formula One’s shift to turbocharged, V-6 engines.

Horner himself said that such an idea was “highly improbable,” but added that while Red Bull wants to work with Renault in solving their problems, the manufacturer needs to get its act together.

“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,” he said. “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’s deputy managing director, Rob White, sympathized as best he could with Horner’s frustration.

“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 the BBC’s Andrew Benson.

“We are completely committed to making progress as fast as we possibly can and I think we have shown signs of progress before now, and we remain sure of where the expectations of Red Bull and Christian lie.”

Vettel was forced to retire his RB10 on Lap 37 to save his Renault engine. Early on in Sunday’s Grand Prix, an unexplained mapping issue caused him to lose drive when he pushed the overtake button in the cockpit.

The four-time defending World Champion was somehow able to reset his car and keep going, but had fallen a lap off the pace in the process.

As for Ricciardo, he suffered a poor start from fifth on the grid and, handicapped by the Renault’s lack of power, was unable to do much afterwards except stay in the lower reaches of the points.

  1. wiscpaul - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    Red bull just signed an agreement to keep Renault engines for next year. Along with saying they were thinking about suing them for lost earnings this season, because of lack of power and reliability. Too bad Ferrari can’t sue their engine manufacturer for their lack of power. Go Ferrari ! …p.s. Kimi WTF?

  2. wiscpaul - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    Also, Honda is making engines for the 2015 season.

  3. techmeister1 - Jun 23, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    Red B.S. Racing should know full well that with the new formula for this season that reliability was likely to be an issue for all of the teams. Even Mercedes has not had really good reliability. Ferrari has probably had the best reliability but they are down on power which can improve reliability. It’s no longer just the engine but the power unit and all associated with it. It’s a completely new world for all the teams and power unit developers. It’s amazing the reliability has been as good as it is.

    While I would not want to be experiencing the reliability issues that Red B.S. Racing is, it does my heart good to see them get what they deserve for being an unscrupulous team that constantly cheats, abused Webber so badly and has two loud-mouthed senior people and one arrogant disgraceful driver. Ricciardo needs to exit that cesspool environment A.S.A.P. now that he’s taught Vettel how to drive and proven Vettel ain’t the golden boy many thought he was. Mateschitz needs to back a different team in the future as these scumballs are not helping his brand at all, IMO.

    Honda probably has an exclusive with McLaren so I doubt Red B.S. Racing has any options.

  4. cuencanolenny - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    If Renault says they are “completely committed to making progress as fast as we possibly can” then I would agree something needs to change at Renault. We are eight races into the season and the Renault engines, as well as the Ferrari engines are woefully uncompetitive. Kimi’s pit radio tells him he is racing for 10th place. Kimi replies he would race if he had some power. Late in the race Alonso is only .8S behind Felipe, he can’t catch him, Felipe just drives away from him. I disagree that reliability has been anymore of an issue with one engine than the other, the MB engine cars seem to be very consistent with Mercedes, McLaren, Williams and Force India consistently towards the front. The RB and Ferrari seem to be handling very well, just don’t have any speed. I was surprised at Monaco where I thought the short track would emphasize driving and handling and the MB’s just smoke everyone there as well. So I would understand the frustration of the drivers, team managers, sponsors. Then again, we have seen years where Williams dominated, McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull. This year it is the old Honda/Brawn team badged as MB that is the dominant car due to the engine and the new rear suspension and two very good drivers.

  5. klagfest - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    Power units are frozen…what does he expect them to do?

  6. techmeister1 - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    The engine suppliers can submit updates for reliability to the FIA and they are usually approved. Power increases can also be submitted but are only approved if the engine supplier can prove that they are at a substantial power deficit to the other engine suppliers.

    As previously noted I am surprised that the reliability of these very complex power units has been as good as it is. Red B.S. Racing may be suffering from their power unit mapping and overheating issues – just like in years gone by where they pushed the thermal envelop too much for better aero and then paid a price for it.

  7. kando53 - Jun 24, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    “As for Ricciardo, he suffered a poor start from fifth on the grid and, handicapped by the Renault’s lack of power, was unable to do much afterwards except stay in the lower reaches of the points.”

    Funny, doesn’t seem to have hurt him that much previously. Wonder why so much of the failures have only happened to Vettel, lol? And it is a different issue each week. Maybe now the little whiner knows how Michael felt when he continually had car issues over a two year period.

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