To be more precise, a spark plug failed in the second part of the race and led to a loss of power for Vettel, who consequently struggled to get past the finish line on Sunday. While leading the race before the problem occurred, he eventually finished it in 4th place.
Needless to say, following the clash between Red Bull's owner Dietrich Mateschitz and Renault last year – when the former accused the latter for providing poor reliability for their powerplants – the engine problem Vettel experienced on Sunday again put the spotlight on the French manufacturer. Lewis Hamilton's comments after the race spoke for themselves about Red Bull's poor choice in picking their engine supplier.
“If Vettel had a reliable engine, he's got so much downforce he could run away with it. But if he has problems it won't be a runaway year for anyone,” said Ham in an interview with The Sun.
Additionally, after the race was over, Swiss newspaper Blick headlined “Failed world championship beginning: did Red Bull stumble with Renault?”, referring to the team's failed bid to secure Mercedes powerplants for the 2010 season of Formula One.
Following last year's reliability problems with the Renault engines, the Milton Keynes officials tried endlessly to ink a deal with the German manufacturer, but their purchasing the Brawn GP team – and turning it into their official F1 operation – brought an end to it. With Cosworth being the only other option, the Austrian outfit chose to stay with Renault for an additional year.