Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul concedes it was a mixed weekend in Mexico for the French manufacturer after a series of engine failures which acted as a “reminder that reliability remains an issue”.

After both Toro Rosso cars suffered turbo breakdowns during free practice and qualifying, while Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo took an engine change ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix, the race proved to be a near-disaster for Renault-powered cars as Brendon Hartley, Nico Hulkenberg and Ricciardo all retired with engine problems while Carlos Sainz Jr was forced to retire as a precaution.

Despite four out of six Renault engines being hit by reliability woes during the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, which has the highest altitude on the F1 calendar, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen did go on to win in Mexico profiting from the clearer and cooler air in front. Pierre Gasly, who missed qualifying due to an engine issue and started last, was the only other Renault-powered finisher in 13th place.

Abiteboul has acknowledged the high altitude and cooling issue as major factors while the French manufacturer prepares to run a full analysis into the breakdowns.

“The Mexican Grand prix was a difficult one for us with multiple incidents, both Nico’s retirement and one of our partner teams’ car is a reminder that reliability remains an issue and the consequences weigh heavily on us and our customer teams,” Abiteboul said. “Being in high altitude, we recognise the inevitable challenges this circuit brings. It’s about finding performance without compromising reliability.

“We had performance, qualifying was very good for many of the different Renault-powered cars. However, the balance between performance and reliability was not good.

“Max Verstappen’s win confirms the engine’s potential and I want to congratulate him and his team for this great race. We need to stay motivated for the last two races and focus on our objectives.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner admits it was a “highly nervous” race watching Renault engines expire as it did a number of setting changes to keep temperatures cool on Verstappen’s car during his drive to victory.

“We made the difficult decision before the race to take the penalty with Daniel to avoid exactly the scenario that happened,” Horner said. “That was the first highly nervous moment, and then a few others as others dropped out.

“What we could do was manage the temperatures on Max’s car and keep them as cool as possible. We turned the fuel flow right down and the temperatures were actually running as low as they were in Japan. He did a very good job of keeping everything under control.

“This circuit seems to have caught them out. No doubt they will do some serious analysis to why they managed to get themselves on the back foot so badly here.

“Fantastic that we managed to win the grand prix but there have been an awful lot of failures during the weekend.”