Germany’s Auto Motor und Sports reports that as the second Red Bull team hits regular problems with its Renault-supplied MGU-H unit, the French manufacturer is almost out of spare parts.
“Toro Rosso looks like a spare parts store for vintage cars,” said Red Bull official Dr Helmut Marko.
Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul confirmed that the spare parts situation with regards to Toro Rosso is at a critical point.
“These components have such a long lead time,” said the Frenchman. “They cannot be built in two weeks.”
Renault power-unit issues continues with Toro Rosso at Interlagos
Friday during practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix as both Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley were sidelined by engine issues during the day.
Gasly suffered an MGU-H failure on his power unit that meant he could manage just five laps in total in FP1, as well as triggering an additional 15-place grid penalty to take his total drop to 25 at Interlagos. Hartley’s engine expiring in a plume of smoke during the morning session.
“This morning, of course, was not great for us with the engine issue. I had only one timed lap and Brendon none, so we didn’t learn much – for me about the track and for the rest of the team about the car and setup,” Hartley said.
“It wasn’t ideal. I managed to do many laps in FP2 which was good (54 total), a short run on softs and super softs, and then long runs on the second part of the session so I think it was really good.
“We finally could seize the potential of the car and work towards qualifying and the race on Sunday. At least we have many things to analyze tonight and to work and improve on for tomorrow.”
Toro Rosso chief race engineer Jonathan Eddolls added: “Obviously it was a very difficult FP1 for the team again, we came in knowing we would need to take some engine penalties for MGU-Hs, which we did.
“Unfortunately, the new MGU-H on Pierre’s car failed early on while the issue on the other car looked more catastrophic than it was. It was something quite simple in the engine, where it smoked badly which everyone saw but we were able to fix it with no further issues.
“Both cars went out pretty much at the start of FP2, so the mechanics did a fantastic job, given there was a complete engine swap on one and an engine strip and rebuild on the other, so really well done to get them out.”