Renault reliability "not acceptable" - Abiteboul

Renault Sport F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul admits that the reliability of the French manufacturer's power unit is "not acceptable" after another fraught weekend in Belgium.

Renault reliability "not acceptable" - Abiteboul
Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director, Renault Sport F1 Team, in the FIA Press Conference
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Race retiree Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, Race Marshals and Security after stopping on track
Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director, Renault Sport F1 Team, in the FIA Press Conference
The car of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 is recovered after stopping on track
Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17

Max Verstappen's high-profile retirement early in the race shone a spotlight on the issue, although there were other problems during the weekend, including a failure for Daniil Kvyat on Friday.

The works team was also hit by gearbox issues for Jolyon Palmer in qualifying.

Immediately after the race, Abiteboul was seen in an animated discussion with Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner.

"Basically we're not too bothered by the performance of our car any more, we're extremely bothered by the reliability which hit Jo on Saturday with the gearbox, and which was also hitting the different engines on the grid," the Frenchman told Motorsport.com.

"That's a concern. For me it's still the sort of fragility of the Renault programme in general that needs really to be addressed as a priority. Performance is where it needs to be given our map, reliability is not."

Regarding Verstappen's obvious frustration, he said: "We've had that discussion when obviously there is lots of frustration coming from the drivers, just after the event.

"If you go a bit further into the details it's different types of issues that are impacting the driver, and therefore you cannot attribute to one single issue all the difficulties that have hit either Jo or Max, talking about the engine, since the start of the season.

"But as I said it's not acceptable, it's not where we want to be from a reliability perspective, and it has to be the focus for all customers."

The positive for Renault was a sixth place finish for Nico Hulkenberg, as once again the team demonstrated that at some tracks it has the fourth fastest car.

"This is where we think we are, and it's good to see it both on a Saturday and Sunday. There is absolutely no doubt about that.

"I would sign up to this sort of constant fourth position in a virtual championship. Our target is still to recover from the very bad position where we are, because of the reliability issues.

"The slightly odd situation was Jo's pace, which was slightly different from what we saw so far in the weekend.

"It's a big disappointment for everyone, including Jo himself. But from all that we could see, from all the analysis we could see in real time, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the car.

"We tried to adjust the strategy because maybe there was something wrong with the set of tyres with which he started the race, but it didn't change a lot.

"As always with these new cars, new regulations, his race was over after the first stint, more or less. It's really, really strange, really disappointing."

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