Toro Rosso has released a team statement clarifying its latest power unit failures in a response to comments made by Renault chief Cyril Abiteboul.

After only two of the six Renault-powered cars reached the finish of the Mexican Grand Prix, with Toro Rosso suffering multiple MGU-H and turbo failures across the race weekend, the team’s troubles have continued in Brazil with both Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly taking new MGU-H units coming into the race and taking grid drops.

Hartley suffered a smoky exit after two laps in FP1, which later turned out to be an oil leak problem, but Gasly endured another MGU-H and turbo failure that needed changing and has now picked up 25 grid place drops for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Comments from Renault boss Abiteboul emerged in the media pinning the blame on Toro Rosso which the team has moved to counteract by explaining it hasn’t changed its power unit operation throughout the year while suffering a number of recent failures.

Toro Rosso has eluded to the fact that it is fighting Renault in the Formula 1 world constructors’ championship, with the Italian team five points ahead of the French manufacturer in sixth place with two rounds remaining, while Toro Rosso is also switching to Honda engines from 2018.

Read the full statement from Toro Rosso here:

“Due to recent accusations made in the media from the team’s engine supplier, Toro Rosso wishes to clarify the actual situation regarding the power units.

“It comes as a big surprise to the team that Cyril Abiteboul has suggested to the media that the problems Toro Rosso suffers with the power unit are primarily team related, and the way in which the power unit is operated in the STR12 chassis.

“We would like to clarify that all the MGU-H and Shaft failures Toro Rosso has recently suffered are not associated with how the team is operating or with how the PU is integrated in the chassis.

“Nothing has been changed or altered in this installation during the 2017 season, other than cooling improvements mid-season. Since the summer break Toro Rosso has suffered continuous power unit related failures, and the resulting grid penalties has cost the team points and relative positions in the Constructors’ championship.  

“One of the primary reasons for the issues we are seeing is the lack of new power unit parts available. In Toro Rosso’s case the team is constantly having to change parts from one PU to another during the weekend and, on many occasions, is forced to run old specification assemblies.

“The last race in Mexico saw only two cars out of six finish the race, highlighting the poor reliability.

“We mustn’t forget that they are fighting with Toro Rosso for a better position in the Constructors’ championship, as suggested by Mr Abiteboul the situation may not be a coincidence, but it is certainly not due to STR’s car.”

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