Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul says the Red Bull Formula 1 team "is what it is today" partly thanks to Renault.
The energy drink squad parted ways with Renault at the end of the 2018 season, after the relationship between the two deteriorated.
Red Bull and Renault enjoyed success together, winning four consecutive championships from 2010 to 2013.
When asked to address comments made by Adrian Newey about Red Bull increasing public criticism of Renault from 2015 to pressure it to improve or leave F1, Abiteboul told Autosport: "One thing we can give credit to Christian [Horner, Red Bull team principal] and Red Bull is that they are fantastic at communication strategy.
"Communication is part of this world, it's part of Formula 1, it's part of your strategy and your tactics.
"It's not the first team and it's not the last team to use all the weaponry of this world, and frankly you guys [the media], to influence what is going on.
"I was reading yesterday that Max [Verstappen] is happy to take an engine penalty. Amazing!
"That's part of this world, but I don't want to lose sight of the fact, and I would concur with Christian in relation to that, our engine was not at the required level in 2014 and 2015.
"There are mitigating circumstances. You know, we were extremely happy and Renault has contributed to making Red Bull what it is today by winning four championships in a row.
"From a financial perspective with sponsors, from a technology perspective with talent, recruitment, Red Bull is what it is today thanks also to Renault."
Horner described the thinking behind the the pressure tactics that Red Bull tried in the hope of seeing an improvement from Renault.
"We'd had several conversations, we'd been to Paris, we'd seen [former Renault CEO] Carlos Ghosn, we'd presented what our concerns were," said Horner.
"By 2015, when the engine was arguably worse than it was in '14, then frustration boiled over to the point that it was like, 'OK, if we are more open about what our frustrations are, maybe it will force a reaction'.
"Cyril came back into the full brunt of it. It was one of things that you try every mechanism that you can to try to generate competitiveness.
"At that time it was felt that maybe Renault couldn't possibly afford the embarrassment of these engines not being competitive and not being reliable and not delivering. Unfortunately it didn't work."