After big reliability problems in Mexican GP, Renault admits they were too aggressive in their desire to have the best possible performance but also defended their decision because without such performance Verstappen might not bring them another victory.
Renault engine won the race in Red Bull RB13 for the third time this season, but the weekend was marked by multiple failures, including three race failures for Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull), Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) and Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso).
Hartley and Gasly in Toro Ross have already had engine problems over the weekend, and Ricciardo also got a new power unit ahead of the race, which did not help him finish the demanding race in Mexico.
Unlike Honda, who prepared very well for Mexico and completed the race with both cars and with surprisingly low performance drop, Renault admits they simply did not prepare enough for these conditions.
“We made a mistake in the preparation and the way we tried to balance the performance and reliability. It’s clear that if you look at the performance of the car, many teams have come up with the right approach to engine and chassis parameters,” said Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul.
“We were extremely competitive. The downside is that we were not at the right level of reliability for that level of performance.”
“But on the other hand, that judgement allowed the Renault powered car to win the race.”
“It’s about climatic conditions, but we knew that – we’ve been racing here for two years now and we knew what to expect – no excuses, but maybe we should be more humble and accept that the engines should be managed. We must understand what went wrong in preparation for this weekend. ”
Mercedes with conservative approach in Mexico
“If you look at Mercedes, you’ve seen that the way that Hamilton was able to recover in the race is completely different to other races. He was struggling to kep up with Fernando, he couldn’t overtake Magnussen or Sainz.”
“It says a lot about how Mercedes approached this weekend, which should be an example for next year.”
Verstappen saved his engine ‘as much as he could’
Given the advantage he had at the top of the pack, Verstappen could save the Renault V6 engine and keep the temperatures under control.
“All we could do was to control the temperatures in Max’s car and keep them as low as possible. We reduced fuel flow, so we were careful that temperatures were like in Japan,” said Christian Horner.
“He did a very, very good job of keeping everything under control.”