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Red Bull chief: Renault engine 'a mess'

2015-03-15 13:45

SATISFIED WITH SIXTH: Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo finished the 2015 Australian GP in sixth. He suffered engine issues during practice ahead of the Melbourne race. Image: AP / Rob Griffith

MELBOURNE, Australia - Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has laid the blame for his team's terrible start to the Formula 1 season with its new Renault engine, describing it as "undriveable".

Once the most powerful team in the sport, Red Bull won the Constructors' championship four years in a row before finishing second to Mercedes in 2014.

While Mercedes continued their dominance with world champion Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg finishing first and second at the 2015 Australian GP, Red Bull fell even further behind.

TOUGH WEEKEND FOR RED BULL

Daniel Ricciardo finished sixth in his home race while his new Russian team mate Daniil Kvyat withdrew before the start due to transmission failure.

Horner told reporters: "It's been a very tough weekend for Renault. The engine is just quite undriveable. You can see and hear that from the comments the drivers are making...you're not able to drive the car properly."

Horner has become increasingly critical of the French engine-maker after they experienced problems adapting to the new V6 turbo hybrid era in 2014.

He first raised his concerns with Renault in 2012 and is frustrated that things seem to be getting worse rather than better.

Horner said: "It's frustrating that we're effectively even further back than we were in Abu Dhabi (last November) in both power and driveability.

"Ferrari have made a good step. Renault, at this stage, appear to have made a retrograde step."

'BIT OF A MESS'

Horner estimated that Renault's power unit had 75kW less than Mercedes and he said it was paramount that the gap was closed.

Horner said: "It's important after this weekend that we re-group with Renault and try and offer our support where we can, because they're obviously in a bit of a mess at the moment."

To compound Red Bull's problems, Ricciardo used up one of his four power units during practice, leaving him with three for the rest of the season.

Ricciardo said: "The positives are that we finished. The reliability was there for one car at least. I feel for Dani (Kyvat) but we'll turn it around and try and learn from the laps I did today and move on.

"We know where a lot of (the problems) lie but there's some more as well which was unexpected. Definitely behind but it is what it is and we've got to try and make the best of it. I'm sure we'll get there but it could be a little while."

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