Former F1 driver Jos Verstappen is sure that splitting with Renault is the best move for the Red Bull camp. As speculation swirls in the Singapore paddock, the Dutchman admitted that his "only concern" is the interests of his son Max, who drives for the Red Bull-owned junior team Toro Rosso. "This year we have had too many engine-related issues," he wrote in his column for De Telegraaf newspaper. "My feeling is that a different engine will significantly push us forward and that's what it is all about for me," added Verstappen, 43.
On the face of it, Red Bull's patience with Renault in the new power unit era ran out, while the French carmaker got tired of the constant sniping about its technology. Carlos Ghosn, the Renault CEO, declared recently that as a mere engine supplier, Red Bull got all the credit for its world championships, and nothing but criticism in the losing period.
"Of course," Jos commented, "it is true that a lot depends on how, as a business, you deal with criticism. Over the last weeks a months, a lot has been said and written about the engines. If think if the problem had been solved, they (Renault) would have got nothing but praise for how they managed to recover."
Ultimately, that didn't happen, and Verstappen said it is because Mercedes invested more money and did a better job. "I can understand a little of what Ghosn says," Verstappen said, "but in my experience, Renault did get noticed in those earlier successes.
"Moving on, it is obvious that both teams (Red Bull and Toro Rosso) will now get Ferrari engines. It's true that with its bigger budget, Red Bull will have the advantage over Toro Rosso, but still I think Toro Rosso is a strong team with good people. This year, after all, they managed to build a very good car. So I have every confidence going forwards," the Dutchman added. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing