The Scuderia Toro Rosso team has issued a statement hitting back at the allegations made by Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul that the recent engine related issues that the Faenza-based team has been having is due to the way the team are utilising the engine.
Both Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly have had multiple engine issues across the last few weekends, with the former heading into this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix with his third grid penalty in as many races due to engine problems.
Speaking ahead of the race weekend, Abiteboul questioned Toro Rosso and laid some blame on them that the problems with the engine are due to something they are doing differently with it, but now Toro Rosso has hit back, with their statement indicating it is the parts Renault are supplying that are causing the failures.
“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,” read the statement.
“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 statement also looks back at the Mexican Grand Prix, which saw engine issues not only for Toro Rosso but also Red Bull Racing and the works Renault Sport Formula 1 Team.
“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.”