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.