Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul: “The balance between performance and reliability was not good”


Credit: Renault Sport Formula 1 Team

Cyril Abiteboul says Renault have a lot of work to do after seeing four of the cars powered by their power units retire from the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday, while there were reliability concerns heading into race day as well.

Both Renault Sport Formula 1 Team drivers, Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr., retired from the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Sunday, with the former suffering an ERS failure and the latter a steering failure, whilst Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley both suffered Renault engine-related issues that curtailed their afternoons.

Hartley and his team-mate Pierre Gasly also suffered engine problems earlier in the weekend, while Ricciardo had already taken a grid penalty for an engine change, although that was more precautionary and tactical to try and ensure a penalty-free weekend in Brazil.

Max Verstappen was the exception to the rule as he secured a dominant second victory of the season, but all of the other Renault runners had a problematic weekend, and Abiteboul, the Managing Director of Renault, felt the balance between performance and reliability was wrong in Mexico.

“The Mexican Grand Prix was a difficult one for us with multiple incidents throughout the weekend,” said Abiteboul. “Both Nico’s retirement and one of our partner teams’ car is a reminder that reliability remains an issue and the consequences weigh heavily on us and our customer teams.

“Being in high altitude, we recognise the inevitable challenges this circuit brings. It’s about finding performance without compromising reliability.

“This weekend, we had performance, qualifying was very good for many of the different Renault-powered cars. However, the balance between performance and reliability was not good.

“Max Verstappen’s win confirms the engine’s potential and I want to congratulate him and his team for this great race. As a team, we need to stay motivated for the last two races and focus on our objectives.”