Abiteboul hits back at Verstappen's engine comments

Published on 28 Sep 2018 13:20

Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul has responded to Max Verstappen's claims that the 'spec C' Renault engine is unable to perform at high altitudes. Red Bull will take grid penalties after it switched back to the 'Spec B' engine in Sochi following running with the updated version in Singapore.

Speaking during the team bosses press conference on Friday afternoon, Abiteboul says that all engines underperform at a high altitude and has suggested that the Dutchman should “focus on his car”. 

“I think that any engine performs not as good in a high altitude,” he said. “I guess the power increase we have seen would have been equal in a track like Mexico. So no I don’t agree with those comments and in general I think Max should focus on the car.”

Abiteboul explained that the change back to the older version of the engine had been planned in advance after issues arose early on during the Singapore weekend with both Daniel Ricciardo and Verstappen's car. 

“We had a drive-ability issue in Singapore in FP1 and into the weekend, and to a far less extent in qualifying," he said. "But I think that we have a very demanding user in the person of Max. Not very quiet, also. But I think the team has done a great job in order to provide Max what was needed in order to have a good weekend in Singapore, very clear.”

"The C-spec as we call it is a good step,” Abiteboul added. “I think it’s a step that is a clear step in power that can also be for a certain number of limitations and that was part of the plan to introduce at a later stage a B-spec. It’s a bit unusual in terms of pattern but it’s a plan we agreed specifically on the request of Red Bull."

Renault confirmed prior to Singapore that its new engine would not be as reliable as 'spec B', although it would produce more power. Abiteboul conceded that Red Bull wouldn't have made it to the end of the season running with the updated engine.

“We do have durability concerns and therefore it was clear the engine introduced for Max would not have been able to do all the races so it was decided obviously to go to a different spec. But again that’s going back to the plan I was mentioning before with Red Bull engineering department and not driving department.”

Replies (17)
SE calle.itw 28 Sep 2018 14:57+2
Posts: 5888
A good step neither you or McLaren were willing to take, mr Abiteboullshit.
Posts: 996
Indeed, jeez I heard that power unit splutter and complain but it kept going. Apparently he had to maintain engine revs when he had to go slow. Renault said that it would be less reliable which I took as it might terminate itself earlier not that it would run less clean.
SE calle.itw 28 Sep 2018 17:260
Posts: 5888
It was a shitshow. Im no fan of Max, but the poor sod had to more or less fight not only the rival drivers but even his own PU during the entire race. It hasnt even survived two races. At this rate I just think the spec C is kinda a development upgrade, meant to collect data for 2019 more than anything else, and the fact Renault themselves didnt pick it up kinda point to that. And Abiteboullshit's straight up nonsense in this comment really doesnt help the situation. He makes Arai look modest.
Posts: 318
To be fair, if the people who built the damn thing chose not to use it because it was unreliable, what were Red Bull expecting to get by using it?
SE calle.itw 28 Sep 2018 20:090
Posts: 5888
At this rate they probably dont care all that much, but just want as much pace as possible on quali and race days, while they can run the B spec for the practice to reduce tear and wear. Alternatively they do this to promote Honda, or compare Honda's progress against Renault's?
Posts: 996

That's not how it was brought though. They indicated that it was less reliable ie it might terminate because of retirement not that the unit runs like a bag of spanners. Bad publicity and a bad decisions to make this unit available. I questioned it when they made it available and I still don't understand.
SE calle.itw 28 Sep 2018 21:150
Posts: 5888
Yeah, we expected a boom, and got a spluttering lift and coast. I demand booms! Boom as my boon!
Posts: 58
MAN- I can understand what Renault are doing, and the insight given is appreciated and even logical most of the time, but SHUT UP with the extra commentary, dude! Verstappen's comments WERE based on him focusing on the car!
NL michielhimself 28 Sep 2018 16:090
Posts: 96
So first before Singapore they publicly tell their customer (Red Bull), to paraphrase it, "You can have our new engine but don't use it, it's shit right now".
Then their customer uses it anyway and the 2nd place finish in Singapore is hailed as proof that they're on the right track to improvement.
Then Red Bull / Verstappen, their customer, state that they expect problems with the new engine (remember the first public statement?) due to the air pressure difference in Mexico compared to Singapore
and now Renault came out stating their C-spec is as good or bad as any other there.
I'm thinking that Verstappen's in-race and public comments on the product in the back of his car aren't the biggest publicity issue Renault have walking around the paddock right now.
Put that engine in the back of the RS18 or shut up, Cyril.
US Ram Samartha 28 Sep 2018 16:430
Posts: 312
Yes, there is a conspiracy at Renault against Red Bull where they are trying to make of for years of being treated like crap from HM and CH. C'mon!
US Ram Samartha 28 Sep 2018 16:400
Posts: 312
Once again Max showing his immaturity. Was really hoping he could get through two whole race weekends acting like an adult.
NL Sjakiebonestakie 28 Sep 2018 16:450
Posts: 3
You think Alonso is immature as well?
SE calle.itw 28 Sep 2018 17:230
Posts: 5888
He kinda is... But thats beyond the point. I presume you saw Singapore Ram? Im no fan of Max, but cred to that fella after that utter shitshow. He quite literally fought that PU the entire race.
Posts: 996
@Ram. I heard plenty of drivers complain about their engines before and this driver finished in front of the Ferraris. Guess I must have been watching an different race.
US mcbhargav 28 Sep 2018 20:390
Posts: 794
I can't decide between Cyril and Max, about who needs to shut their mouth first.
US ajpennypacker 28 Sep 2018 20:560
Posts: 1507
What Max says is always more egregious, but there is a higher standard expected from a team boss. Still, Cyril is usually very measured and respectful fashion. Never name calling. But the problem is that people will always be mad when you overpromise and under deliver
SE calle.itw 28 Sep 2018 21:140
Posts: 5888
Maybe both could shut up some more? Though Max is kinda justified this time, it was really not a good show. That PU wasnt just unreliable, it wasnt even fully functional in Singapore. Mind, I cant stand Abiteboul, he really is the Randy Pitchford... Or maybe Ajit Pai... Of F1.

        Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi
Local time
Give your opinion!
Which rookie do you think will impress the most in 2019?

Driver profile
Name NL Max Verstappen
Active As Red Bull Racing Driver in Formula 1
Date of birth Sep 30 1997 (21)
Weight 70 kg
Length 1.80m
City Monaco
570,138 comments on Verstappen
767 members have this driver as their favourite
Tweets about Max Verstappen
Track Yas Marina Circuit
Track Yas Marina Circuit
Location AE Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Website Website
Team profile
Name FR Renault
Founding date Jan 1 1977
293,020 comments on Renault
26 members have this team as their favourite
Website http://www.renaultsportf1.com
Location Enstone
Tweets about Renault
Formula 1 Calendar
Previous Grand Prix: 25 November 2018
AE Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi