Cyril Abiteboul says Renault is concerned with the number of failures seen by Scuderia Toro Rosso in recent races, with both Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley set to take more engine penalties this weekend in Brazil after further failures in morning practice.
Both drivers suffered multiple issues last time out in Mexico, and Abiteboul, Renault’s managing director, believes it is not coincidental that the team are enduring so many failures, feeling the way Toro Rosso operate the engine must be a factor.
“We are not happy with that situation, and we take it very seriously,” said Abiteboul to Motorsport.com. “Toro Rosso has suffered in the last couple of events much more issues than other teams, and obviously when it’s happening, because of the regulations, and because of parts availability and production lead time, that’s causing issues.
“We do have a little bit of a concern about the way that our engine is operated in the Toro Rosso car, which may explain why we have had so many issues coming from Toro Rosso specifically. There are never coincidences in this sport.”
The failures, coupled with the ones experienced by Red Bull Racing and the factory Renault Sport Formula 1 Team, means additional pressure has been put on those back at their engine factory in Viry to either develop new or recondition existing parts to be able to see out the season.
“We were not assuming that we would have the issues that we have had, and therefore at some point you have to be managing with the parts you have,” added Abiteboul.
“It’s only been two weeks since Mexico, we sent the parts back to Viry, we worked on a bank holiday in order to sign off as many of the parts that had seen some issues as possible.
“With the logistics and the timing issues there’s a limit to what we can do and the number of new parts that we can bring, obviously. It’s a snowball effect. Once that snowball starts to roll, it’s very difficult to stop it.
“We are doing our best in order to contain it, but there will be a limit in the way we can mitigate the consequences of what has happened, which we are still trying to understand.”