Toro Rosso has come out with a scathing rebuttal after Renault suggested that the team’s engine troubles were caused due to the incorrect usage of the engines.
Red Bull’s junior team had a spate of engine failures in the last few races. Both of their drivers, Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley are set to take grid penalties at Interlagos after experiencing problems at the start of FP1 yesterday.
Talking with Motorsport, Cyril Abiteboul said: “we do have a little bit of a concern about the way that our engine is operated in the Toro Rosso car,” adding that there are “never coincidences in this sport,”.
On Friday, STR hit back with a statement insisting that the problem is not occurring due to installation or due to the way the team is operating the engines.
“It comes as a big surprise to the team that Cyril Abiteboul has suggested to the media that the problems Toro Rosso suffers from the power unit are primarily team-related, and the way in which the power unit is operated in the STR12 chassis.
“We would like to clarify that all the MGU-H and Shaft failures Toro Rosso has recently suffered are not associated with how the team is operating or with how the PU is integrated into the chassis.
“Nothing has been changed or altered in this installation during the 2017 season, other than cooling improvements mid-season.
“Since the summer break, Toro Rosso has suffered continuous power unit related failures, and the resulting grid penalties has cost the team points and relative positions in the Constructors’ championship.”
Toro Rosso was forced to reuse old parts due to lack of supply of new ones and that has also led to the current problem, the team added.
“One of the primary reasons for the issues we are seeing is the lack of new power unit parts available.
“In Toro Rosso’s case, the team is constantly having to change parts from one PU to another during the weekend and, on many occasions, is forced to run old-specification assemblies.
“The last race in Mexico saw only two [Renault-powered] cars out of six finish the race, highlighting the poor reliability.”
The Faenza based team also pointed out that STR is ahead of Renault in the constructors’ championship by five points.
“We mustn’t forget that they are fighting with Toro Rosso for a better position in the Constructors’ championship,” the statement read.
“As suggested by Mr Abiteboul the situation may not be a coincidence, but it is certainly not due to STR’s car.”