Renault boss, Cyril Abiteboul, has hit back at Max Verstappen, telling him to focus on his own car and leave the tuning of the engine to the mechanics after the Dutchman made some disparaging comments about it in Singapore.
“I think that any engine performs not as good in a high altitude,” said Abiteboul. “I guess the power increase we have seen would have been equal in a track like Mexico. So no I don’t agree with those comments and in general I think Max should focus on the car.”
Verstappen had commented that the Renault engine was unable to perform at high altitudes after an issue prevented him from attacking Lewis Hamilton at Singapore, though he did manage to beat Vettel through the pit-stops and attempted to cover it up later.
The Renault boss also went to on to explain that the engine was going to be changed after aa driveability issue was identified early on. “We had a drive-ability issue in Singapore in FP1 and into the weekend, and to a far less extent in qualifying,” he said.
Verstappen had claimed that he was relieved with at least a second-place as he pushed the Red Bull to its absolute limit in qualifying and then the main race. He has certainly evolved into a reliable driver after some early season mistakes which frustrated some.
However Abiteboul called him out as it is. “But I think that we have a very demanding user in the person of Max. Not very quiet, also. But I think the team has done a great job in order to provide Max what was needed in order to have a good weekend in Singapore, very clear.”
“We do have durability concerns and therefore it was clear the engine introduced for Max would not have been able to do all the races so it was decided obviously to go to a different spec.”
“But again that’s going back to the plan I was mentioning before with Red Bull engineering department and not driving department.”