Red Bull voiced engine concerns back in 2012

Christian Horner

Christian Horner

Red Bull raised concerns with Renault about the direction of their engine programme as far back as 2012, team principal Christian Horner has revealed.

The French engine maker, who supply the Formula 1 champions, had a problem-plagued start to the new V6 turbo hybrid era while Mercedes have been dominant since the opener in Australia in March.

Horner was heavily critical of Renault after last month’s Austrian Grand Prix, where four times world championSebastian Vettel retired and Daniel Ricciardo finished eighth, when he called their engine performance unacceptable.

“We raised our concerns as far back as the end of 2012 with the direction the project was going,” Horner told reporters ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix.

Red Bull and Renault personnel during the all-conquering years

Red Bull and Renault personnel during the all-conquering years

“But designing and building engines is not our core competence… and I don’t think any of us could have envisaged that Renault would be as far behind as they have been.”

Horner suggested Renault – who supply four teams this season – had erred in not focusing development of the power unit around one car, as Mercedes and Ferrari did.

“When you look at the engine Ferrari has made, the customers have had to adapt their cars accordingly,” he said.

“Mercedes likewise, whereas Renault has tried to keep all of their customers happy, which is an admirable thing to do but is not the best way to be competitive.” (Reuters)