Toro Rosso has launched a scathing response to Renault over accusations the reliability issues faced in recent races are the team’s fault.
Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul was quoted as telling Motorsport.com that the engine manufacturer has “a little bit of a concern about the way that our engine is operated in the Toro Rosso car,” adding that “there are never coincidences” in Formula 1 when discussing the multiple failures the team has suffered.
In response, Toro Rosso – having already taken multiple power unit penalties this weekend – issued a strongly-worded statement that hinted Renault could be trying to aid its attempts to overturn a five-point deficit in the constructors’ championship.
“Due to recent accusations made in the media from the team’s engine supplier, Toro Rosso wishes to clarify the actual situation regarding the power units,” the team statement read.
“It comes as a big surprise to the team that Cyril Abiteboul has suggested to the media that the problems Toro Rosso suffers with the power unit are primarily team related, and the way in which the power unit is operated in the STR12 chassis.
“We would like to clarify that all the MGU-H and Shaft failures Toro Rosso has recently suffered are not associated with how the team is operating or with how the PU is integrated in the chassis.
“Nothing has been changed or altered in this installation during the 2017 season, other than cooling improvements mid-season. Since the summer break Toro Rosso has suffered continuous power unit-related failures, and the resulting grid penalties has cost the team points and relative positions in the Constructors’ championship.
“One of the primary reasons for the issues we are seeing is the lack of new power unit parts available. In Toro Rosso’s case the team is constantly having to change parts from one PU to another during the weekend and, on many occasions, is forced to run old specification assemblies.
“The last race in Mexico saw only two cars out of six finish the race, highlighting the poor reliability.
“We mustn’t forget that they are fighting with Toro Rosso for a better position in the Constructors’ championship. As suggested by Mr. Abiteboul the situation may not be a coincidence, but it is certainly not due to STR’s car.”
Toro Rosso took 10-place grid penalties with both cars in Brazil before FP1 problems led to a further 15-place grid drop for Pierre Gasly.