Renault’s tumultuous relationship with Red Bull has ramped up a notch courtesy of a brutal crack at star driver Max Verstappen.
The rival Formula One teams have been at loggerheads throughout the season with Red Bull consistently left frustrated by the engines provided to them by Renault.
The rocky relationship between the pair will soon be coming to an end, with Red Bull confirming Honda as their new engine provider in 2019.
That scenario has led to an unsavoury series of tit-for-tat incidents between the two teams in the closing stages of this season.
True to form, the fires have been stoked again ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, with Renault taking a cheeky dig at Red Bull’s young Dutch driver in their usual travel blog.
“A party atmosphere is one similarity between Mexico and Brazil, with another being the sheer volume of people living in the two host cities,” read the preview.
“With a combined population of 20 million, which may or may not be equivalent to the number of times Max Verstappen has moaned about something this season, these two back-to-backs are physically HUGE.”
— Andres Nino (@AfNino) November 7, 2018
Verstappen plays down chances in Brazil
Max Verstappen is not expecting to challenge for victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix despite winning last time out in Mexico.
The fifth win of the Dutchman’s career ended Sebastian Vettel’s hopes of catching Lewis Hamilton in the Formula One drivers’ championship, while boosting Verstappen’s hopes of overtaking Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen.
Verstappen is not expecting another 25 points at Interlagos, though, given the setup of the circuit in Brazil.
“Interlagos doesn’t suit our car that well,” he said. “But after finishing on the podium there in 2016 and winning last week in Mexico, anything can happen in the race.
“I’ve had some great battles and overtakes there and I’m hoping for another exciting race.”
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo has also struggled in Brazil, his best result a sixth-place finish 12 months ago, but he is keen to finish his time with Red Bull on a high note.
“It’s a track that isn’t always that easy to pass on, but last year proved that it can be done and I’m looking forward to going back,” said the Australian – who will drive for Renault in 2019.
“The lap is quite short and lacks high-speed corners but it’s definitely grown on me over the years.
“The weather can also play a big part in this race, so let’s hope the on-track action can live up to the off-track atmosphere.
“It goes without saying that I’m looking for a strong finish to round off the season with the team and I will be pushing as hard as ever to achieve that.”