Whilst riding a crest of form with Honda power, Max Verstappen has launched a stinging jibe at Red Bull’s former Formula 1 engine partner.
Since the team ditched Renault for 2019, the Dutchman has won two of the last three grands prix and his first-ever pole position in Hungary.
At the same time, Renault is the first engine manufacturer to claim to have broken through the four-digit horsepower barrier with its 2019 engine.
When asked about it during the top three press conference after qualifying, Verstappen replied, if they claim to have a thousand horsepower they have a really bad car! I think it’s better to do the talking on the track than in the media anyway.”
Also in the post-qualifying press conference were Valtteri Bottas (second) and Lewis Hamilton (third) who were in the dark about exactly what horsepower they have at their disposal.
Hamilton admitted, “I have no idea what brake horsepower we have so similar; it’s all very close.”
“Actually just yesterday I asked the team – because we had some engine issues, we had some talks about the engine and I asked how much horsepower we had in qualifying and the engineers said they don’t know, they don’t actually know, so no one knows,” added Bottas.
Indeed, both Red Bull-Hondas are in the top six on the Budapest grid, while the highest-placed works Renault is Nico Hulkenberg in eleventh.
“We can’t pretend that we are happy with our positions, the speed of the car and our situation,” Hulkenberg said.
“We are a factory team,” the German said. “On the one hand there have been many incidents, but on the other, the speed of the car and the pace of development leaves much to be desired.”
Renault is expected to introduce its C-spec engine at Spa or Monza after the summer break.
“I don’t know exactly when we will have that specification,” Hulkenberg responded. “I think the final decision has not been made yet, so let’s see.
“But after the summer break there are tracks where engine power is important, so an update will come in handy,” he added.
Notably, Renault customer team, McLaren, were easily Best of the Rest and will line up their cars seventh and eighth on the grid. When it mattered the orange cars were north of half a second faster than the works package.
Big Question: How can Renault be so bad if they have so much power?