A “nuclear bomb” has effectively gone off in the Formula 1 paddock between Renault and Toro Rosso over various acquisitions, which could see Toro Rosso not race again in the 2017 Formula 1 season.
Following multiple Renault failures in the Toro Rosso, Franz Tost hinted at Renault giving out faulty engines to Toro Rosso given the money at stake if the French outfit can outscore Toro Rosso in the constructors’ championship.
However, following Tost’s comments, a source close to F1 Hub indicates that Renault is finding a clause in Toro Rosso’s supply contract to retract Renault engines for rest of the Brazilian GP weekend and the season-closing race in Abu Dhabi.
This and Abu Dhabi are the last two races for the French outfit, and thereafter it is set to switch to Honda Formula 1 engines in 2018.
Ted Kravitz, a Sky Sports F1 pundit, gave the lowdown:
“It’s going near nuclear in terms of Renault are now considering withdrawing engines from Toro Rosso and making them sit out not only the rest of the weekend with no engines, but also the Abu Dhabi GP.
“They are so furious they are considering looking at their contract with Toro Rosso and seeing if there is a break in any clause in terms of bringing the name into disrepute.
“What Franz Tost effectively said, or has been taken this way at Renault, was that he was calling into question the integrity of Renault as a company, that they would effectively give Toro Rosso bits that were breaking on their engines deliberately so that Renault can get further up in the Constructors’ Championship.
“I spoke to Cyril Abiteboul and he said ‘It’s a joke. We’re not perfect but we would never be like that’. Jerome Stoll the president of Renault Sport is here and is furious, Alain Prost is here.
“They are seriously considering that this might be a break in a contract. Renault are looking at whether it is so significant they can take the engines away from Toro Rosso and leave them to do nothing.”
Developing story, more to follow…