Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has labelled the team’s 2015 campaign as a “write-off” and has called on engine supplier Renault to focus on speed rather than reliability.
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Renault, who supply power units to Red Bull and sister team Toro Rosso, have come under fire after poor reliability and performance have plagued its season.
Daniel Ricciardo finished seventh in the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, a lap down on eventual winner Nico Rosberg.
Ricciardo’s teammate Daniil Kvyat also finished a lap down in tenth place.
The performance gap between the Renault and Mercedes engines has widened massively in 2015, and Horner said it was time the French engine manufacturer put all of its focus on pace rather than reliability.
“I think it is a positive that we got four engines to the finish without any white smoke, so it’s a step forward from where we have been in previous races,” Horner is quoted as saying by Reuters.
“Reliability seems to have been a step forward, so the focus desperately needs to turn to performance before too long.”
Horner went as far as to say the season was a “write-off” for the four-time world champions.
“I think we are so far on the back foot with reliability anyway that, to be honest with you, this year is pretty much a write-off. You have just got to go for it, even if you end up using 20 engines,” said Horner.
“It would be better to learn and make progress in preparation for next year than be conservative. It is far easier to make a fast engine reliable than it is to make a reliable car fast. Our philosophy has always been to push performance.
“It is not enjoyable being in a grand prix like today when you are just going around, you’re not really racing. The determination is to get back. The frustration we have is that not all of it is in our hands.”
Rosberg’s win in Barcelona closed the gap to championship leader Lewis Hamilton to 20 points, while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel sits a further 10 points back in third.