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Renault: Honda still behind in power stakes & Red Bull 'hiding the facts'

Written by  Dec 21, 2018

Renault Formula 1 chief Cyril Abiteboul has launched another attack at Red Bull, alleging they are "hiding the facts" of the Honda engine.

Even after their 12-year partnership has come to an end, the verbal back and forth between the two parties has continued, highlighting how poor the relationship was in the final seasons.

Abiteboul's main beef is the constant claims by Red Bull that Honda, their new engine supplier, is already ahead of the French manufacturer in the power stakes which he insists is not the case.

"Honda is still 20 kilowatts behind us," he told Spain's Marca. "I know what Red Bull says but they're hiding the facts and manipulating the data. I understand their communication strategy, but there are no facts.

"Eventually it will be seen that Honda is 20 kilowatts behind and that they have not moved from their current position."

Unsurprisingly, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko dismissed the Renault chief stating the proof will be in their relative performance in 2019.

"We do not need to discuss that because next year we will see what our position is," he said. "Mr Abiteboul will continue to daydream but next year it will be completely clear."

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Meanwhile, Honda's motorsport boss Masashi Yamamoto has admitted his company still have work to do to catch up as they look to meet their new partner's high expectations.

“Over the course of the year, we improved our PU in terms of performance and reliability, thanks to the huge efforts of our engineers and mechanics,” he said in reflection.

“We established a close and honest relationship [at Toro Rosso], built on mutual respect and that produced some strong performances, such as those in Bahrain, Hungary and our qualifying in Suzuka. For this, our sincere thanks go to the entire team.

“However, it was clear that our PU is still not at the same level as the very best in terms of performance and there is also room for improvement when it comes to reliability,” he noted.

“Next season, we will supply two teams for the first time since we returned to F1 in 2015. We must do better and, with that in mind, everyone involved in the project is working relentlessly to be in good shape for pre-season testing in February.

“As we prepare for our second year with Toro Rosso and our first with Red Bull Racing, our aim is to continue to make progress and move up the order.”

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