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Alonso: Renault power holding Red Bull back.

Fernando Alonso has fired a broadside at employers Renault, as he suggested that not only is the French outfit increasingly struggling in Formula 1 in 2008 due to a lack of power – but that the same reason is to blame for Red Bull Racing's recent slump in form as well.

Both Mark Webber and RBR team principal Christian Horner hinted after the European Grand Prix in Valencia at the weekend that they were not getting enough power from the Renault engine in the back of their RB4 [see separate story – click here], and the race marked the first time all year that none of the four Renault-powered cars had made the top ten on the starting grid, lining up just twelfth, 14th, 15th and 17th.

Alonso has previously claimed that Renault are suffering for having followed the rules regarding F1's current engine 'freeze' to the letter whilst, he contended, rival teams have not.

The lack of power was further highlighted around the all-new Juan Carlos I Marina circuit at the weekend with both of the Scuderia Toro Rosso machines of Sebastian Vettel and Sébastien Bourdais qualifying inside the top ten. STR uses what is effectively the same chassis as RBR, only equipped with a Ferrari engine as opposed to a Renault powerplant.

“We must bear in mind that he uses a Ferrari engine and that is an advantage,” former double F1 World Champion Alonso told Spanish newspaper Diario AS when questioned about Vettel, whilst acknowledging that the young German also possesses 'a great deal of skill'.

“The Red Bull and Toro Rosso cars are identical, but one is fighting for the top positions and the other, with a Renault engine, could not get past Q2.”

Both Renault and RBR are embroiled in the fierce scrap over the coveted fourth place in the constructors' world title chase, sitting respectively ten and 17 points behind Toyota, who currently occupy the spot with six races left to run.

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Brendan - Unregistered

August 26, 2008 11:00 PM

he is right, this engine rule really needs looking into. firstly when the engine freeze was brought in after brazil 06 the renault was a great motor. so whats went wrong? how comes the toyota, mercedes and ferrari is clearly now better. even more iffy is the gap has grown over the course of the season. Renault biggest mistakes was having a reliable engine when the freeze came in, leaving no ''legal'' room to upgrade it. and its a dumb rule, what happens if VW or Hyundai etc wanted to enter F1? they would have a massive advantage cos in theory the engine would be a 3 years newer surely? or if u were slow at the freeze, why even bother carrying on(cosworth)

Barry Wilkinson

August 27, 2008 12:51 AM

i agree brendan if vw or hyundai came in they should have a better package but alas it does not look like it. The rules are there and when you get a failure you can improve the engine to make reliability not a problem. But as far as alonso's comments go it sounds like sour grapes just like he did at mclaren even before the spy saga came to light he critisised the team in public so i guess he is not going to be at renault next year and i think he is going to ferrari after all if a driver is under contract it is easy to get out of it you just dont give %100 and the team will gladly dump you for a price and put someone in who is going to give it %100.

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