|© Jean Michel Le Meur/DPPI/Renault Sport F1
Engine suppliers Renault took responsibility for Sebastian Vettel’s retirement at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday after its component proved to be Red Bull’s Achilles Heel for the second time this season.
The German driver was instructed to stop on the track and retire to save his engine at Monza after an alternator failure, causing a setback which returned to haunt the defending world champion.
The alternator was replaced after it affected Vettel’s running in the third and final practice session on Saturday, as it did at the European Grand Prix earlier this year when the Red Bull driver was forced to retire from a dominating lead after a similar problem.
“We are still looking into why this happened, but we do know that even though the alternator was being operated entirely within the prescribed range, the part itself overheated and shut off the power supply,” explained Renault engineer Cyril Dumont.
“We have to apologise to Red Bull Racing as clearly this has hurt us in the championship. We have no option, but to sort it out and it will still be a priority before Singapore,” he added.
Renault had introduced a new specification of the alternator following the problems in Valencia in June, believing that it would overcome the issues.
“It’s already cost us a victory in Valencia and now a points-finish again here in Monza. It’s important we address it for the remaining seven races,” demanded Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.