Christian Horner has called on Renault to sort out the persistent technical issues it is encountering with its Formula 1 power units after Max Verstappen suffered yet another engine failure in the Belgian Grand Prix.

The French firm has been blighted by various technical problems across its three supplies teams – the factory Renault team, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso – with Verstappen suffering his fourth technical related DNF of the season in 12 races after retiring on lap eight of the Spa race.

With Verstappen venting his anger at Renault for yet more problems, Horner echoed his driver’s sentiments by urging Renault to ‘sort it out’ and develop greater reliability.

“He is just enormously frustrated as you can imagine,” Horner said. “Once again he is in a great position and no fault of his own another engine issue. Sometimes words escape you. But he has had Alain Prost come and apologise, Renault are going to apologise, but it doesn’t change the situation unfortunately.

“It is Renault’s business. We pay a hell of a lot of money for the engine. And they need to sort it out, it is hurting them as much as it is hurting us. At this level you can’t afford the kind of failures we are consistently seeing.”

The rhetoric from Horner is similar to that of 2015 when Red Bull and Renault – who won four world titles together between 2010 and 2013 – came close to an acrimonious split over the Renault’s failure to supply a reliable and competitive engine.

With the engine also down on power relative to Mercedes and Ferrari, Horner admits he can see similarities between now and two years ago.

“We always live in hope. Ferrari managed to get their act together and they were in a worse situation than Renault in 2014, and by investing in the right areas, bringing the right people in, they put themselves into a competitive position," Horner said.

"So it demonstrates that it is possible with the right people, the right desire and the right funding. I would say the situation is as it was the last time this happened. It’s enormously frustrating but you got to take a bigger view you can’t get caught up.

"Here and now it really hurts, and it really hurt Max because it’s his home race, massive crowds, huge support, he’s in a great position, and his engine has failed on him. That’s hugely frustrating for him and of course the support group that he has around him.

“But that needs to change. But unfortunately as a team that’s something that’s beyond - it’s an element that we don’t control. It’s beyond our control. So all we can do is put pressure on our supplier, like any supplier, to say ‘come on, get your act together!’”.

 

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