Verstappen hits back at Abiteboul


In the wake of further criticism of Renault in Singapore, Verstappen, suggested at the start of the Sochi weekend that one of the reasons he was reverting to a previous-spec engine, and thereby incurring a grid penalty, was because the latest-spec unit will not perform well in the high latitude of Mexico City, a suggestion dismissed by Abiteboul.

"I believe it's fair to say that any engine performs not as good at high altitude," the Frenchman told reporters on Friday, "but I guess the power increase that we have seen would have been equal in a track like Mexico so no, I don't agree with those comments in general.

"I think Max should focus on the car," he added. "We do have reliability concerns and therefore it was clear that the engine introduced for Max would not have been able to do all the races so it was decided obviously to go to a different spec. But that's going to the plan agreed with Red Bull's engineering department and not its driving department."

In a tit-for-tat move, Verstappen has hit back, suggesting Abiteboul concentrate on his team rather than criticising him.

"If he would concentrate a little bit more on his own team instead of moaning about me all the time, they would already be world champions," he told Ziggo Sport.

"I don't understand these things," he added. "He just has to concentrate on himself. I always concentrate on myself when I'm in the car. I don't think that's the issue, but we'll see.

"That man is just frustrated," Verstappen continued. "I'm just very honest, I explained clearly why we have to revert back to the B-spec. That turbo won't last in Mexico and Brazil. If we would race with that engine then we would not make it to the finish for sure.

"So, it's not that I'm lying," he added. "I just think that he can't take it very well, that I am too realistic and too straightforward. I demand a lot from the equipment, but I'm here to win. I'm not here to become seventh like they are doing."

Thankfully, we only have five more race weekends of this.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Sochi, here.

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Published: 29/09/2018
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