Red Bull motorsport consultant Dr Helmut Marko has moved to smooth current tensions between his organisation and engine supplier Renault after an angry reaction by Cyril Abiteboul from Toro Rosso’s statement against the French manufacturer.

Toro Rosso released a team statement on Saturday morning before FP3 defending itself after being accused of causing power unit failures while also hinting at the Italian team receiving below standard parts from Renault with the Formula 1 world constructors’ championship at stake. Toro Rosso currently sits sixth in the championship five points ahead of Renault with two rounds remaining.

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul was pictured in an animated conversation with Marko in the Interlagos paddock after the statement was released with speculation Renault may attempt to break its Toro Rosso contract early. Toro Rosso has agreed a deal to switch to Honda engines from 2018.

Marko has released a statement via Red Bull explaining “emotions are running high” but his team has “a valued relationship” with Renault while denying any speculation of unfair treatment.

“Over the last 10 years, many successful, we have been through every emotion with our current engine supplier,” Marko said in a statement. “As usual at the end of another long season, emotions are running high but it is a valued relationship and will remain so.

“There has never been any question that we have not been treated fairly and equitably by our engine suppliers. And that is still true today."

While Toro Rosso switches to Honda power for 2018, with McLaren taking up a deal with Renault from next season, Red Bull’s existing partnership with Renault has come under question beyond the end of next year with the French manufacturer reportedly looking see out its current deal without renewing.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner insists his squad has a firm deal in place with Renault for 2018 but hinted at a potential switch to Aston Martin power thanks to its existing partnership.



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