Renault’s Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul is worried about Honda’s continued rise in power unit competitiveness following the introduction of a new specification engine this weekend.
Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley tested upgraded Honda units during Friday’s two ninety-minute practice sessions for this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.
Speaking during Friday’s team bosses press conference, Abiteboul said he’s worried about everything in life, but the engine situation was something “in particular” on his mind.
He said Honda has made “big steps, big gains” this year with Toro Rosso.
“Red Bull has been very clear that they are investing massively, massively, probably and apparently much more than us,” Abiteboul said.
Formula 1 Journalist Chris Medland described Honda’s power unit upgrade for Sochi as “pretty significant” in a tweet on Thursday.
- Red Bull could be “step in front” in 2019
- Horner blames “irresponsible” Ocon for robbing Brazil victory
- Verstappen seen repeatedly pushing Ocon post-race in Brazil
Honda received positive feedback from Toro Rosso about the new power unit following free practice.
Pierre Gasly thanked Honda for the upgrade and said the
Toro Rosso Chief Race Engineer Jonathan Eddolls said both cars completed calibration work throughout Friday practice, which left the team in “good shape.”
“Overall, we are in a good position with the package we have,” Eddolls said.
Honda’s Technical Director Toyoharu Tanabe said the day had been positive for both drivers.
Both drivers have upgraded internal combustion engines, turbochargers, MGU-H’s and MGU-K’s in the new package, with grid penalties for each element.
Eddolls said Toro Rosso focused on long runs and race performance during practice because of the impending penalties.
Power unit penalties will also force both Red Bull drivers as well as Fernando Alonso’s McLaren to the back of Sochi’s grid.
Toro Rosso hasn’t had a retirement related to the Honda power unit since July when a loose connector forced Brendon Hartley to retire from the British Grand Prix.
The fallout from the Singapore Grand Prix has made its way to Sochi.
Renault’s power unit had a string of reliability-related problems in last fortnight’s Singapore Grand Prix, which caused Max Verstappen to publicly vent frustrations.
When FP3 rolled around in Marina Bay, Verstappen lost his temper and said the unit was making “weird noises” and “doing its own thing.”
Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul said to Sky Sports F1 on Friday in Sochi that he’s “frustrated” only one driver was talking about the quality of Renault’s power unit when it’s run by six cars.
Abiteboul said in Friday’s Team Bosses Press Conference that Verstappen was a “demanding user.”
Red Bull could be “step in front” in 2019
Horner blames “irresponsible” Ocon for robbing Brazil victory
Verstappen seen repeatedly pushing Ocon post-race in Brazil
Analysis: Ferrari helped cause Mercedes’ Austria implosion
Gilles Villeneuve: Natural Talent, Great Competitor, and “The Fastest Ever”
Hamilton and Lauda criticise Vettel penalty
- Budget woes cost Force India F1 team full upgrade in 2018 December 15, 2018The Force India Formula 1 team missed out on a full upgrade during the 2018 season because of its budget problems
- Alonso: LMP1/Indy running helped first F1 clean sweep vs Vandoorne December 15, 2018Fernando Alonso reckons his LMP1 and IndyCar exploits boosted him as a driver and helped him record a career first by trouncing Formula 1 team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne in qualifying
- Mercedes F1 team using psychologists to 'maintain energy' of staff December 14, 2018Mercedes is turning to psychologists, well-being practices and medical support for its staff in its bid to remain at the top of Formula 1
- Lowe: Smedley leaves Williams F1 team on best possible terms December 14, 2018Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe says outgoing head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley leaves the Formula 1 team on the best possible terms
- Jean-Pierre Van Rossem, Onyx Formula 1 team backer, dies December 14, 2018The colourful money man behind the Onyx team's Formula 1 entry in 1989, Jean-Pierre Van Rossem, has died at the age of 73