- Austrian GP
Renault performance 'unacceptable' - Red Bull
Red Bull has labelled Renault's reliability and performance as "unacceptable" after Sebastian Vettel suffered another issue at the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend.
Vettel experienced a loss of drive on the second lap of the race, putting him a lap down on the rest of the field even though he was able to continue. Red Bull later retired Vettel after he made contact with Esteban Gutierrez and told Daniel Ricciardo, who finished eighth, not to use his "overtake button" for fear of a similar problem on his car.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said the amount of reliability issues and lack of performance from its power unit meant something had to change at Renault.
"It's frustrating that we're in the situation that we are," he said. "We've obviously had a lot of success with Renault. We've won all the races and all the championships that we've achieved with Renault power, but the situation just isn't improving at the moment.
"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. We need to work together as partners and 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, so these kinds of issues cannot and should not happen.
Asked what he meant by changes at Renault, Horner added: "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."
Horner said Red Bull would remain with Renault next year but that a big improvement is needed.
"They've got issues with reliability as well as performance. There are certain things that still can be done this year. The most important thing is really to get next year right as well now."
Renault Sport F1's deputy managing director Rob White said he understood Red Bull's concerns.
"The first thing to say of course is that we share Christian's ambition in general and particularly at this race which is extremely important for Red Bull - the return to Austria is of course extremely important for our relationship with Red Bull and with the team. Therefore, 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.
"Next thing, is that 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 lies. We know what is expected of us and individually and collectively we must buckle down in the right direction.
"Of course it is always difficult in the heat after a poor result and it is particularly tricky in this instance as I speak to you. I have extremely limited knowledge of the incident during the race, we will give some feedback on that as soon as we have some, for the time being we must continue in the direction of fixing each incident as we understand it and progressing with the development path that we have established with Red Bull. This is a process that is completely shared with Red Bull, and objectives are known and understood. The way forward with Red Bull is known, clearly the next steps are two weeks away in Silverstone and the rest of the season is in front of us and that is what we must work on."