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Renault braced for more pain in Bahrain

2015-04-13 06:36

QUICK THINKING: Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen leaves his car in a hurry just three laps from the end of the Chinese Formula 1. Image: AP / Andy Wong

SHANGHAI, China - Renault has warned Red Bull and Toro Rosso to expect more pain in Bahrain after both F1 teams suffered power unit problems in China on Sunday (April 12).

Former champions Red Bull scored just two points in Shanghai while their sister team drew a blank after engine-related retirements.

Daniil Kvyat's race ended spectacularly with the Russian pulling up with smoke spewing from his Red Bull, while Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen brought out the safety car three laps from the end when his car stopped on the main straight.

FEARED PROBLEMS

Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul said: "As a company, we hold our hands up when it's our problem, and today (on Sunday) that was the case.

"We have to investigate the reasons for the failures and put in place countermeasures for 100% reliability as quickly as possible. With just five days to go, we know that Sakhir (the Bahrain circuit) will be another test for us."

Abiteboul said Renault had feared problems in the early races and the plan was to be in Monaco in May "with absolutely no reliability issue any more."

Renault and Red Bull, who won four drivers' and constructors' championships together between 2010 and 2014, have had an uneasy relationship of late and both sides have talked about walking away from the sport.

The French manufacturer struggled to come to terms with the new V6 turbo hybrid power units last year, although Red Bull won three races and are still behind rivals.

The two sides on Sunday presented a united front, however, with Red Bull principal Christian Horner and Abiteboul holding a joint post-race briefing.

FOUR ENGINES A SEASON

"At the moment if you look at the facts of where we are... we're not in a great situation," Horner said. "But Viry (Renault headquarters) has got a long history of success in F1 and they've still got some very capable people there."

Horner said the priority was to help Renault find a solution by offering as much support as possible.

Red Bull's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo, who finished ninth after dropping down the field due to a poor start, said the problems would likely result in penalties with the rules currently limiting drivers to four engines a season.

Ricciardo was already running his third engine of the season in China while Kvyat has also been romping through his allocation.

"We're going to get copped with at least one (penalty)," Ricciardo told reporters.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every day.


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