Renault has attempted to defuse the tension between itself and Toro Rosso after angry claims from Franz Tost’s team regarding recent reliability problems.
After Cyril Abiteboul suggested there could be a correlation between the numerous failures and Toro Rosso’s installation of the Renault power unit, Toro Rosso hit back with a strongly worded statement on Saturday morning. Team principal Tost then told Sky Sports why he was so angry with Abiteboul, saying: “In the interview yesterday he blamed the team [Toro Rosso], which is absolutely wrong.
“If we do something that is not OK then we tell it. If the MGU-H or shaft fail it is nothing to do with the installation of the power unit and we have not changed anything regarding the installation of the power unit from the beginning of the season. This is what we wanted to make clear.
“We are also not happy with the [constructors’ championship] situation. The fact is, we don’t get new parts. We are just changing old parts from one power unit to the next part, and therefore we are suffering. If we change from one old engine to another engine with old parts, then you cannot expect the reliability reaches a high level.”
Asked if he feels he should apologize for Toro Rosso’s statement – which led Helmut Marko to release a comment denying claims of unfair treatment following a heated exchanged between Abiteoul and Marko in the Interlagos paddock – Tost replied: “What should I apologize for?
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) November 11, 2017
“For all the damages we have? I am as well upset. Both are upset. Who started with all this nonsense? Cyril yesterday with this stupid interview. Should I say ‘fine, good interview, we accept it.’ No, we don’t accept it and that’s why we came out with this statement. Nothing to say.”
Amid claims Renault could look to get out of its contract with Toro Rosso in order to not supply power units at the final race in Abu Dhabi, Tost added: “They have a contract. I don’t see that we break something [in the contract]. They have a contract, they get a lot of money and they have to supply us with engines. I see it quite easy.”
In response to Tost’s comments, Renault special advisor Alain Prost played down the situation and insisted Toro Rosso would receive a full supply until the end of the season.
“What we don’t want to enter into this answering everything,” Prost said. “I just heard what Franz said and obviously there is one thing is for sure, the Renault company has been involved in Formula 1 for a long time and we’ve proved we give exactly the same engine to everybody – which is not the case of the other manufacturers. We would never play any dirty games to gain one position.
“We are struggling at the moment, at the end of the year, I think everyone can see. It’s not good for us, not good for Red Bull, not good for Toro Rosso. They will have an engine for Abu Dhabi, there is no question about that, and let’s see in the next few hours.”