Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul believes Red Bull has “missed a trick” of modern-day Formula 1 by operating independently from its engine supplier.

Red Bull once again finds itself well behind Mercedes in the pecking order this season and has lagged behind the German manufacturer in both qualifying and races.

Mercedes has been the benchmark of engine performance in the V6 hybrid era and looks to have made further gains in that department over the winter, while the Red Bull-Honda partnership still trails.

Renault has also enjoyed improvements with its power unit and Abiteboul suggested that Red Bull’s struggles to challenge Mercedes have been down to its philosophy of not being a full works outfit.

Asked why he felt Red Bull has made slow starts to seasons in recent years, Abiteboul replied: "How harsh do you want me to be in that answer?

“I think Red Bull is a fantastic team but in my opinion Red Bull has missed a trick of modern Formula 1, where you can't have a chassis organisation and an engine organisation that are so distinct.

"You can't think of that, if you want to fight for wins in a consistent manner.

"So probably the struggles that it can face at the start of the season, but eventually even across all of the season, is a demonstration of that. You really need to be one group of people, one team, with one mindset.”

Red Bull triumphed to four world championship titles on the bounce between 2010 and 2013 using Renault engines but has not won a title since. The team switched to Honda power for 2019.

"We have failed to do that all together," Abiteboul added. "It just looks like they [Red Bull] are not able to do much better with Honda.

"But it just shows that there's a level of complexity and perfection that is required in Formula 1 in order to win and in particular to beat Mercedes."

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff agreed that every element of a team needs to work perfectly in sync in order to extract the maximum performance and potential.

"Red Bull has all the resource, human resource and financial resource, to compete at the very front," Wolff said.

"I think like it had those great years with Renault, starting in 2010 with four consecutive championships, we're having a run at the moment.

"As Cyril said, it's about putting all things together. Every parameter is needed in order to get there. And it is not only the engine and chassis relationship that needs to be strong.

"It's also about putting all components, all these marginal gains together, in order to perform."

 

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