Renault hit back at Red Bull

Red Bull endured a difficult time of it at the season-opening race in Australia, with Daniel Ricciardo finishing in a disappointing sixth, having been lapped by the leaders, while Danii Kyvat didn't make it to the grid after a gearbox problem on the out lap from the pits ended his race prematurely.

The Milton Keynes-based outfit have been consistently off the pace of their rivals and Renault have admitted that they have a lot of work to do to narrow the gap to Mercedes.

However, the French manufacturer's managing director, Cyril Abiteboul, has taken exception to comments from Red Bull technical guru Adrian Newey in which the Briton said that Renault had "all sorts of failings" and that there is "no obvious light at the end of the tunnel".

"Yes, it's difficult to have a partner who lies," Abiteboul told Auto Hebdo. "Adrian is a charming man and an engineer without parallel, but he's spent his life criticising engine partners. He's too old to change his ways."

In a press release issued ahead of this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, Abiteboul asserted that the two parties needed to work together to improve the situation.

"We need to work together to understand our issues, both within the power unit and the chassis. Our figures have shown that the lap time deficit between Red Bull and Mercedes in Melbourne was equally split between driveability issues, engine performance and chassis performance. It's therefore the overall package that needs some help and we have been working with the team to move forward," he said.

"We've been particularly aggressive in development and we should see the results a lot more clearly in Malaysia, particularly since we have had the opportunity to refine the PU using the data from Australia. Work is still ongoing but even now we are in a completely different place to where we finished Melbourne."