Helmut Marko, Red Bull, Sepang International Circuit, 2017

Marko intervenes in Toro Rosso-Renault row

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Red Bull’s motorsports consultant Helmut Marko has intervened in the row between junior team Toro Rosso and its engine supplier Renault.

Toro Rosso refuted Renault’s claim its recent power unit failures were a consequence of how it was operating its engines. Marko, who was seen having a heated discussion at Interlagos with Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul, has now issued a statement on the matter.

“Over the last 10 years, many successful, we have been through every emotion with our current engine supplier,” he said. “As usual at the end of another long season, emotions are running high but it is a valued relationship and will remain so.”

“There has never been any question that we have not been treated fairly and equitably by our engine suppliers. And that is still true today.”

Toro Rosso’s relationship with Renault will end after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix later this month, after which it will switch to Honda engines for 2018.

The team had insinuated the breakdowns may be related to the fact it is ahead of Renault in the constructors’ championship.

“We mustn’t forget that they are fighting with Toro Rosso for a better position in the constructors’ championship,” it said. “As suggested by Mr Abiteboul the situation may not be a coincidence, but it is certainly not due to STR’s car.”

Both Toro Rosso cars suffered power unit problems within minutes of the first practice session starting at Interlagos. The cars have run reliably since then but both the teams’ drivers will take grid penalties for power unit component changes.

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 6 comments on “Marko intervenes in Toro Rosso-Renault row”

    1. Helmut Marko, voice of reason in discussions about a Red Bull team and Renault engines.

      Ok, I almost managed to say that with a straight face.

      1. lol exactly what i was thinking. Marco to quiet things down?! Says a lot about Tost and Abitebul…

    2. I don’t get how Abiteboul thinks he’s within his rights to suggest that Toro Rosso are doing suspect things with their engines, but climbs up on his high horse & adopts a “how dare they (!?!?!?!!)” attitude when Tost throws some accusations back his way. Especially not when Renault engines have been going bang left, right & center. I’m starting to dislike that guy more than I do Marko, & that’s some feat.

      1. I don’t like Abitetoul but to be fair he didn’t really mention Toro Rosso was doing suspect things cause it could be just a way the engines are installed in the car. And we must not forget that Toro Rosso reliability has been worse than the other 2 teams with same engine, and I believe was also bad last year when they were using Ferrari engine.
        The team however claimed a lack of spare parts that forces them to swap between cars and reuse older ones and that of course makes things worse. But in this case a lack of spare parts is either Renault’s fault (doesn’t have enough for its customers) or a consequence of the deal (in the scenario that Toro Rosso doesn’t pay enough for all the spare parts but that would be weird since the engine provider needs to provide all the parts needed).

    3. It seems that Renault believe the cooling on the STR is more marginal than on the other Renault powered cars & that this causes certain parts of the power unit to run hotter for longer than Renault would like & that on top of this STR have been running some of the engine modes a bit more freely than Renault would recommend which puts more strain & wear on certain components.

      With regards to having to re-use components, This is something all the Renault teams have had to do over the past 2-3 races because there isn’t enough bits available of the newer specifications. The reason for this is that Renault have moved forward with engine development at a faster pace than was expected because they did some things that opened up a development path that was finding them more gains than expected. Since they like to treat there customers as equally as possible they have been trying to ensure everything gets the latest spec components as soon as there available & given the rate they have been coming up with new bits through the year there approach has simply caught up with them & as work on the 2017 power unit slows down & is shifted to 2018 they are simply running low on the latest spec bits.

      1. RBR replace every radiator daily with new, wether they need it or not. TR cannot afford to do this…. It would result in hotter engines…

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