Renault admits its Formula 1 reliability is 'unacceptable'

Renault Sport Formula 1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul admits his firm's reliability level is "not acceptable" after another fraught weekend at the Belgian Grand Prix

Renault admits its Formula 1 reliability is 'unacceptable'

While Red Bull-Renault driver Max Verstappen's retirement from fifth just seven laps into the race was the highest-profile issue at Spa, there had been problems for Renault-powered teams throughout the weekend.

Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat had an engine failure in Friday practice (pictured below) and Jolyon Palmer's factory car had gearbox problems at the start of Q3.

Immediately after the race, Abiteboul was seen in an animated discussion with Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner.

With Nico Hulkenberg finishing sixth for Renault and 'best of the rest' for Renault, Abiteboul said reliability was a much bigger worry than speed now.

"Basically we're not too bothered by the performance of our car anymore, we're extremely bothered by the reliability which hit Jo on Saturday with the gearbox, and which was also hitting the different engines on the grid," Abiteboul told Autosport.

"That's a concern. For me it's still the sort of fragility of the Renault programme in general that needs really to be addressed as a priority.

"Performance is where it needs to be given our map. Reliability is not."

Horner and Verstappen both expressed their frustration with Renault at Spa, which Abiteboul said he understood.

"Obviously there is lots of frustration coming from the drivers, just after the event," he said.

"If you go a bit further into the details it's different types of issues that are impacting the driver, and therefore you cannot attribute to one single issue all the difficulties that have hit either Jo or Max, talking about the engine, since the start of the season.

"But it's not acceptable, it's not where we want to be from a reliability perspective, and it has to be the focus for all customers."

He was relieved that the factory Renault team is now consistently emerging at the head of the upper midfield pack, with Hulkenberg's sixth place at Spa his second such result in the last three grands prix.

"This is where we think we are, and it's good to see it both on a Saturday and Sunday," Abiteboul said.

"I would sign up to this sort of constant fourth position in a virtual championship.

"Our target is still to recover from the very bad position where we are because of the reliability issues."

shares
comments
What Vettel's surprise means for the F1 driver market

Previous article

What Vettel's surprise means for the F1 driver market

Next article

Toro Rosso Formula 1 team's 2017 development slower than expected

Toro Rosso Formula 1 team's 2017 development slower than expected
Load comments
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021