Abiteboul hits back at Verstappen's engine comments

  • 28 Sep 2018 13:20
  • comments 17
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul has responded to Max Verstappen's claims that the 'spec C' Renault engine is unable to perform at high altitudes. Red Bull will take grid penalties after it switched back to the 'Spec B' engine in Sochi following running with the updated version in Singapore.

Speaking during the team bosses press conference on Friday afternoon, Abiteboul says that all engines underperform at a high altitude and has suggested that the Dutchman should “focus on his car”. 

“I think that any engine performs not as good in a high altitude,” he said. “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.”

Abiteboul explained that the change back to the older version of the engine had been planned in advance after issues arose early on during the Singapore weekend with both Daniel Ricciardo and Verstappen's car. 

“We had a drive-ability issue in Singapore in FP1 and into the weekend, and to a far less extent in qualifying," he said. "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.”

"The C-spec as we call it is a good step,” Abiteboul added. “I think it’s a step that is a clear step in power that can also be for a certain number of limitations and that was part of the plan to introduce at a later stage a B-spec. It’s a bit unusual in terms of pattern but it’s a plan we agreed specifically on the request of Red Bull."

Renault confirmed prior to Singapore that its new engine would not be as reliable as 'spec B', although it would produce more power. Abiteboul conceded that Red Bull wouldn't have made it to the end of the season running with the updated engine.

“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.”

Replies (17)

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  • A good step neither you or McLaren were willing to take, mr Abiteboullshit.

    • + 2
    • Sep 28 2018 - 14:57
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,067

      Indeed, jeez I heard that power unit splutter and complain but it kept going. Apparently he had to maintain engine revs when he had to go slow. Renault said that it would be less reliable which I took as it might terminate itself earlier not that it would run less clean.

      • + 0
      • Sep 28 2018 - 16:12
    • It was a shitshow. Im no fan of Max, but the poor sod had to more or less fight not only the rival drivers but even his own PU during the entire race. It hasnt even survived two races. At this rate I just think the spec C is kinda a development upgrade, meant to collect data for 2019 more than anything else, and the fact Renault themselves didnt pick it up kinda point to that. And Abiteboullshit's straight up nonsense in this comment really doesnt help the situation. He makes Arai look modest.

      • + 0
      • Sep 28 2018 - 17:26
    • Bhurt

      Posts: 320

      To be fair, if the people who built the damn thing chose not to use it because it was unreliable, what were Red Bull expecting to get by using it?

      • + 0
      • Sep 28 2018 - 17:35
    • At this rate they probably dont care all that much, but just want as much pace as possible on quali and race days, while they can run the B spec for the practice to reduce tear and wear. Alternatively they do this to promote Honda, or compare Honda's progress against Renault's?

      • + 0
      • Sep 28 2018 - 20:09
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,067

      @bhurt

      That's not how it was brought though. They indicated that it was less reliable ie it might terminate because of retirement not that the unit runs like a bag of spanners. Bad publicity and a bad decisions to make this unit available. I questioned it when they made it available and I still don't understand.

      • + 1
      • Sep 28 2018 - 20:36
    • Yeah, we expected a boom, and got a spluttering lift and coast. I demand booms! Boom as my boon!

      • + 0
      • Sep 28 2018 - 21:15
  • 2GRX7

    Posts: 63

    MAN- I can understand what Renault are doing, and the insight given is appreciated and even logical most of the time, but SHUT UP with the extra commentary, dude! Verstappen's comments WERE based on him focusing on the car!

    • + 1
    • Sep 28 2018 - 15:40
  • So first before Singapore they publicly tell their customer (Red Bull), to paraphrase it, "You can have our new engine but don't use it, it's shit right now".
    Then their customer uses it anyway and the 2nd place finish in Singapore is hailed as proof that they're on the right track to improvement.
    Then Red Bull / Verstappen, their customer, state that they expect problems with the new engine (remember the first public statement?) due to the air pressure difference in Mexico compared to Singapore
    and now Renault came out stating their C-spec is as good or bad as any other there.
    I'm thinking that Verstappen's in-race and public comments on the product in the back of his car aren't the biggest publicity issue Renault have walking around the paddock right now.
    Put that engine in the back of the RS18 or shut up, Cyril.

    • + 0
    • Sep 28 2018 - 16:09
    • Yes, there is a conspiracy at Renault against Red Bull where they are trying to make of for years of being treated like crap from HM and CH. C'mon!

      • + 0
      • Sep 28 2018 - 16:43
  • Once again Max showing his immaturity. Was really hoping he could get through two whole race weekends acting like an adult.

    • + 0
    • Sep 28 2018 - 16:40
    • You think Alonso is immature as well?

      • + 0
      • Sep 28 2018 - 16:45
    • He kinda is... But thats beyond the point. I presume you saw Singapore Ram? Im no fan of Max, but cred to that fella after that utter shitshow. He quite literally fought that PU the entire race.

      • + 0
      • Sep 28 2018 - 17:23
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,067

      @Ram. I heard plenty of drivers complain about their engines before and this driver finished in front of the Ferraris. Guess I must have been watching an different race.

      • + 0
      • Sep 28 2018 - 20:42
  • mcbhargav

    Posts: 886

    I can't decide between Cyril and Max, about who needs to shut their mouth first.

    • + 0
    • Sep 28 2018 - 20:39
    • What Max says is always more egregious, but there is a higher standard expected from a team boss. Still, Cyril is usually very measured and respectful fashion. Never name calling. But the problem is that people will always be mad when you overpromise and under deliver

      • + 0
      • Sep 28 2018 - 20:56
    • Maybe both could shut up some more? Though Max is kinda justified this time, it was really not a good show. That PU wasnt just unreliable, it wasnt even fully functional in Singapore. Mind, I cant stand Abiteboul, he really is the Randy Pitchford... Or maybe Ajit Pai... Of F1.

      • + 0
      • Sep 28 2018 - 21:14

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