At the Hungarian Grand Prix, disaster struck the Red Bull camp when Max Verstappen ground to a halt. Team boss Christian Horner and Verstappen instantly blamed Renault following a sixth power unit related failure.
In the spur of the moment, Verstappen launched into such an expletive filled reaction that somebody really ought to have rinsed his mouth with soap. Unsurprisingly, it dominated headlines, though he later apologised for the outburst..
Horner on the other hand was a bit more reserved, but did not hide his fury. He said that the team pays multi-millions of pounds for the engines, for a first-class product. The team expects a state-of-the-art product, and Renault clearly did not deliver.
“So it is frustrating, that is what it is. I will let Cyril come up with his excuses afterwards,” said Horner.
The blame game continued with Renault chief Cyril Abiteboul pinning the blame on the energy drinks outfit. He said that they switched to an improved MGU-K at the Monaco GP. However, Red Bull avoided it since it affects the way the power unit is installed on their car.
Abiteboul said that the new MGU-K regulates temperatures more effectively than before. He also stated that the factory cars ran smoothly. But he respected Red Bull’s decision to avoid it.
As has been stated for months, the Red Bull-Renault partnership will cease at the end of the season. From then on, they will be powered by Honda for 2019 and beyond. For now, the two parties will have to tolerate each other. The bitterness is likely to increase if the weekend in Hungary is anything to go by.
Fed up with the criticism, Abiteboul has declared that his company has no interest in dealing with their soon-to-be former engine partners any more.
Abiteboul and Horner have a frosty relationship and have clashed repeatedly during the V6 turbo era, which started with the introduction of the new engines in 2014. Despite coming into that season having won four consecutive world championship titles together, Red Bull-Renault has claimed just 11 race victories in the five years since.
Responding to Horner’s most recent comments, Abiteboul said: “Our bosses have stopped reading what Christian Horner is saying about us since 2015. It’s very clear that we don’t want to have any dealings with them any more. It’s very clear it’s done.
“They will have their engine partner that will be paying a hell of a lot of money to get their product on board, and I wish them good luck. I have nothing else to say.”