March 24, 2015

Renault: It's hard to have a partner who lies.

"It's hard to have a partner who lies."

that rather stunning public statement comes from Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport F1's Managing Director in an interview given to France's Auto Hebdo.  

"We started the season with many new technical development,  some very late.   I'm not making excuses,  other managed it, we did not.   Finding ourselves in this situation is scandalous, frustrating and sad."

But, adds Abiteboul, Red Bull's performance deficit is not exclusively Renault's fault.

"Red Bull has some chassis issues, especially when it comes to rear end stability.  This combined with our problem makes for a very difficult car to drive."

Asked to comment on Adrian Newey saying the only problem with the car is the Renault engine, Abiteboul added:

"It's hard to have a partner who lies.    Adrian Newey is a charming gentleman and an outstanding engineer but he spent his life criticizing his engine manufacturers, he's too old to change."


  1. Its kind of funny to see these teams sweat due to the fact that it looks like they are going to experience a second year of Merc shellacking. I understand that it can be a blow to your ego when your star driver voluntarily jumps ship - and moves further up the gird(like Seb this year or Lewis awhile back). It hurts. A lot can happen over the next few months. Lets see how this thing plays out. Women and wimps complain. Real men solve their problems. Its time to go to work.

  2. Poor form from both sides.

  3. Gotta think Honda is feeling the same way, as Ron Speak clearly points the finger solely at Honda. He doesn't mention he likely forced Honda into their tight chassis, with likley challenging cooling parameters,
    And damn those white blokes talk funny,

  4. I can just imagine the kind of conversations going on in both shops these days, both of them looking for a way out and salvation in the same measure. Given Hamilton's apparent prescience in moving to Merc and Vettels traitorous move to SF, you can well imagine the kind of simmering frustrations at RBR. Renault have been inconsistent at best over the past few years, the whole Lotus affair showing the true level of engine performance when not in a Newey chassis/body. Sauber certainly didn't do much to prove otherwise, and given the surprise in Australia, well... other factors aside it's easy to spot the reason for such improved performance.

    The thing that gets me every time I read these reports is how much in line these circumstances are with the prevailing opinions that RBR wins come from the little (secret) things Newey and Co have been able to do to their cars over the years - often grey areas of development (rubber nose rubber nose rubber nose, where did that .gif go off to?). And of course the whole deal about the tire testing and the reversion to one spec from the other and on and on and on, RBR are just pissy none of their little tricks can make up for the performance gap of the engines. I just hope the FIA remembers all the whinging and complaints from past seasons when another team had something that could at least challenge them on the track.

    Finally, to address some of the thought's I've seen around the webs about how boring it is, blah blah blah...I mean, seriously? I've often said the average public attention span is short, but people who say Merc dominating the races is boring have completely forgotten the years and years of total, complete domination not by one team but by one driver (Vettel, and before that Schumi). At least both Merc drivers are on the same general level of performance, allowed to race each other. How many races did we see Webber's car a lower level than Vettel's? Almost every race Hammfist and Roseypalms are neck and neck, actually competing against each other, while we watch for 2 solid seasons as Webber was handed 2nd-rate components time and again. RBR always said they were identical cars but you couldn't really trust that to be true given the way they treated Webber over and over again.

    Joe S mentions, quite often, the business interests at play for F1 teams, and has noted that RBR has no actual investment in F1 outside of sheer marketing. They could literally quit tomorrow based solely off marketing advice and not one person at Red Bull proper would have any lingering consequence. The flip side is Williams or Sauber who exist solely to race in F1 (Williams is of course diversifying but still focused on F1). Look at how they've dealt with disappointing results over the last few years as RBR ran away with it 4 years in a row. The difference in priorities is pretty clear, as is how they handle these issues. A part of me wants to see RBR take a hike, if only because other devoted F1 teams could get the chance to mkae the changes F1 needs to stay relevant and successful. At least Merc has some tangential reason to stay in F1, you know?


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