Cyril Abiteboul believes Red Bull Racing would not be where in the position they are today in Formula 1 if it was not for the initial support and backing from Renault, the partnership that ended on a sour note at the end of 2018.
Renault powered Red Bull to four consecutive championships between 2010 and 2013 but struggled when the turbo hybrid era began at the beginning of 2014, with the relationship breaking down, often publicly, between the two parties from then on.
Red Bull were often quick to criticise Renault’s short-fallings, particularly when it came to unreliability, and last year’s multiple retirements was the final straw in Red Bull opting to end their partnership with the French manufacturer in favour of a move to Honda power.
Nevertheless, Renault F1 Team’s Abiteboul says Red Bull would not be at the same status level they are currently within Formula 1 had it not been for the success they achieved with Renault power.
“One thing we can give credit to Christian [Horner] and Red Bull is that they are fantastic at communication strategy,” said Abiteboul to Motorsport.com.
“Communication is part of this world, it’s part of Formula 1, it’s part of your strategy and your tactics. It’s not the first team and it’s not the last team to use all the weaponry of this world, and frankly you guys [the media], to influence what is going on.
“I was reading that Max [Verstappen] is happy to take an engine penalty – amazing! That’s part of this world, but I don’t want to lose sight of the fact, and I would concur with Christian in relation to that, our engine was not at the required level in 2014 and 2015.
“There are mitigating circumstances. You know, we were extremely happy and Renault has contributed to making Red Bull what it is today by winning four championships in a row. From a financial perspective with sponsors, from a technology perspective with talent, recruitment, Red Bull is what it is today thanks also to Renault.”