The gloves are off between Renault and Red Bull

Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:11am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul posted a picture of a pair of boxing gloves on Twitter as he packed for Sunday's 'round two' of the Formula One season in Malaysia and he may need them.

The French manufacturer and former world champions Red Bull have been increasingly uneasy partners since the introduction last year of the V6 turbo hybrid power units.

Mercedes, dominant last year, romped to another one-two in the Australian opener on March 15 and Red Bull's patience is running low.

The tensions had been ratcheted up already before Melbourne when Red Bull designer Adrian Newey suggested there was "no obvious light at the end of the tunnel and all sorts of failings" with the engine.

"It's one thing where you're not competitive but you can see your way out of it," he told the Daily Mail, before a race that saw Red Bull's Russian Daniil Kvyat fail to start when his gearbox failed on the way to the grid.

"It's another when you're not competitive and your partner doesn't seem to be willing to deal with you."

His team principal Christian Horner said in Australia that the engine was "undriveable" and accused Renault of making "a retrograde step".

"They're obviously in a bit of a mess at the moment," he added.   Continued...