The relationship between Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and their current engine suppliers Renault continued in its downward spiral after another power unit-related issue forced Max Verstappen out of the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday, much to the disgust of Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
Verstappen was running fifth when a suspected MGU-K failure forced him to stop at the side of the road, causing the first of two Virtual Safety Car periods and causing a number of expletives from the Dutchman, who laid into Renault with his own criticism.
Red Bull has already made a decision to switch to Honda power in 2019, but Horner was critical that they are currently paying a lot of money to Renault for the engines, only to be let down time and again by their reliability issues.
“I am not going to get drawn into saying too much, but we pay multi millions of pounds for these engines, for a first-class product, a state-of-the-art product, and you can see it is quite clearly some way below that,” said Horner to Sky Sports F1 during the race on Sunday.
“So it is frustrating. That is what it is. We still have Daniel [Ricciardo] in the race and I will let Cyril [Abiteboul] come up with his excuses afterwards.”
Renault Sport Formula One Team’s team principal, Cyril Abiteboul, has responded to the criticism and says they are not worried by what Horner or anyone else at Red Bull has to say about their product, with the relationship between engine supplier and customer currently extremely fragile.
“Our bosses have stopped reading what Christian Horner is saying about us since 2015,” said Abiteboul to Motorsport.com. “It’s very clear that we don’t want to have any dealings with them any more. It’s very clear it’s done.
“They will have their engine partner that will be paying a helluva money to get their product on board, and I wish them good luck. I have nothing else to say.”