Pit Chat: Horner trolls Renault over break-up

Date published: June 26 2018

The return of Horner the sh*t-stirrer, Freddo-gate hits McLaren and we’re 99.9 per cent sure Lewis Hamilton is on a Christina Aguilera track. Just your average Formula 1 weekend…

But first…

It’s not us, it’s you

In the lead up to the French Grand Prix we of course had the news that Red Bull will be ditching Renault engines after 12 years for Honda. Brave move.

It didn’t take long for the PR masks to slip off from both sides…

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul started off positive enough.

“I think it’s a happy situation for everyone.”

But then in further interviews…

“We will do everything we can to make them regret this decision.”

And…

“They have made their bed so they need to lie in it now.”

We couldn’t help but feel Cyril has gone all Ross from Friends on us…

 

Christian Horner was also in PR mode for much of the weekend. But it turns out you can ask one too many questions about Renault. The silence here is deafening. The eventual answer will sting too.

But if Red Bull do well with Honda, their drivers can expect plenty of gifts.

Honda’s vice-president was moved to tears after Pierre Gasly’s P4 finish in Bahrain and, after another points finish in Monaco, the Frenchman had a special delivery waiting for him on his return home.

Ricciardo to McLaren?

Now the engine deal has been sorted at Red Bull, attention was soon back on Daniel Ricciardo and his long-term future. A $20-million-a-year deal is reportedly on the table from McLaren…

One certain rising star on the McLaren books had something to say about that…

Freddo-gate

The Ricciardo link soon became a thing of the past for now as Freddo-gate completely took over.

Those press conference rooms get very warm don’t they, Eric?

At least the McLaren boss still has some of his sense of humour intact after that roasting.

And what McLaren really didn’t need after this was their worst qualifying performance of the season and another forgettable race for both drivers.

Fernando Alonso won’t let you forget about his talents though. The self-promotion machine was set to 100 per cent this weekend and, really, who can blame him?

Think Tom Kristensen might want a word…

Teething problems

The return of Circuit Paul Ricard to the Formula 1 calendar was not without its issues.

The heavy traffic had people resorting to extraordinary lengths to get to the track on time.

And when asked about the traffic issues, this is not the answer fans were looking for from Chase Carey…

The track layout also left viewers nursing headaches over the weekend.

We knew we had seen the layout somewhere before…

It even caught out the very best of drivers. We saw you, Seb!

And if anyone wants any toothpaste, we have tons of it after hours of being exposed to subliminal advertising.

There was also a suggestion of how to fix things in France…

Whilst we’re on the subject of the drivers’ briefing, it sounds like we missed a good one after this gem from Vettel. We wished Formula 1 carried on filming it after bringing it back last year.

Oh Williams

It’s been tough watching Williams this year. Sergey Sirotkin is now trying to get anyone to take a look at his car and help him out of this sorry mess.

We have to thank Sergey, though, for giving us an excuse to post the best pit-stop gaffe of the lot.

Williams did bring an upgrade to France. Missed it? Here’s Robert Kubica to fill you in.

Kimi corner

Into Kimi corner now and it was his turn again to deliver one of the most unenthusiastic track previews of all-time.

And Sky’s Ted Kravitz probably could have had a better opener for him than talking about his own sweat.

And kudos to EpicDonutMan (great username by the way) on Reddit (r/Formula1) for putting this work of art together from the FIA press conference.

Hi Lewis!

One thing we didn’t expect to be talking about is Lewis Hamilton’s feature on a Christina Aguilera track. He refused to answer any questions on whether he was the mystery ‘XDNA’ artist – but, come on, it’s clearly him.

A final dig

And we couldn’t finish without mentioning David Coulthard’s sensational dig at Romain Grosjean after his latest crash in qualifying.

Savage.

Last word

We also have to dip into F2 this week following Arjun Maini’s jaw-dropping radio message in France. Not heard anything like it in quite some time.

Until Austria…