Tost: Abiteboul started this with ‘stupid interview’

Date published: November 11 2017

Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost insists he won’t apologise for implying that Renault could be deliberately hampering Toro Rosso in an attempt to beat them in the standings.

A feud erupted between the Formula 1 team and their engine supplier in Brazil when Renault’s managing director Cyril Abiteboul stated that Toro Rosso’s engine issues were their own doing.

The team hit back in a press release, accusing Renault of undermining their efforts.

The statement read: “We mustn’t forget that they are fighting with Toro Rosso for a better position in the Constructors’ championship, as suggested by Mr Abiteboul the situation may not be a coincidence, but it is certainly not due to STR’s car.”

This infuriated Renault, leading to reports that they could cancel their contract with Toro Rosso, leaving them without engines for the final two races of this season.

Tost, though, says he won’t apologise.

“What for should I apologise? For all the damages we have?” he told Sky Sports F1.

“I am also upset, then both [of us] are upset. Who started all this nonsense? Cyril yesterday with his stupid interview.

“Should I say ‘Oh fine, good interview from him, we accept it’? No we don’t accept it. Therefore we came out with our statement. That’s it. Nothing to say.”

He added: “The statement was a reaction to Cyril’s interview yesterday where he blamed the team for the power unit failures which is absolutely wrong.

“If we do something which is not okay then we tell it, but MGU-H failure or shaft failure is nothing to do with installation of the power unit.

“The fact is that we don’t get new parts, we are just changing old parts from one power unit to the other, therefore we are suffering and therefore we have reliability issues.

“We are also not happy about this as we pay a lot of money, we just expect new, good material.

“If we change the power unit, I expect getting all the grid penalties that we get a new power unit with new MGU-H, MGU-K, new turbo, all these parts should be new, then we don’t have a problem.

“If we change from one old engine to other old parts then you cannot expect [that] the reliability reaches a high level.”