Coming into the 2018 F1 season, a lot of the fans expected a three-way fight, one that would include Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull.
However, Red Bull fell of the charts quite early on in the season, despite Ricciardo starting off strongly.
Christian Horner and co. have put the blame on Renault, as engine failures has caused a lot of problems for Red Bull, during qualification and race days.
Verstappen’s engine failure during the Hungarian GP(and Ricciardo’s a week before that) ultimately broke the shackles with respect to the ‘blame game’, as Verstappen and Horner both voiced serious concerns over the quality of the Renault engines.
Horner said that he knew that Abiteboul would have ‘excuses’, but such a situation wasn’t acceptable, especially when so much money is spent on getting good quality engines.
Abiteboul did come up with an answer to that saying that Red Bull had refused to use an updated version of the MGU-K, as it wasn’t compatible with the Red Bull package.
In an interview with Auto Motor und Sport, Abiteboul conceded that the engine was good enough to win races, and Red Bull would still be in the title fight, if not for their own issues.
“The engine is good enough to put a car in pole position, win races and fight for the title. Red Bull proves it.
“Without their problems, they would now be fully in the title fight. And only two of their problems had to do with the engine.” Abiteboul said in an interview with AMuS
Renault presently is behind Ferrari and Mercedes with respect to engine power and performance, but Abiteboul feels that the work being put into the engine will help Renault ultimately overtake both Ferrari and Mercedes.
“Here we are on schedule with our catching up. I am convinced that we will catch up with Mercedes and Ferrari in 2019, maybe even overtake.
“I am satisfied with the performance increase. Not yet with reliability.
“On the chassis side we are still lagging aerodynamically.” Abiteboul said.