Renault boss Flavio Briatore has refused to give any allowance for Heikki Kovalainen's rookie status and slammed the Finn's error-strewn F1 debut in the Australian GP.
After failing to qualify in the top ten, Kovalainen struggled throughout the season-opening race, committing a series of mistakes and making regular excursions off the track. Having impressed throughout winter testing, his dismal performance was a considerable surprise and one which left his temperamental team boss thoroughly unimpressed.
"Kovalainen had a horrible race," Briatore told RAI. "You need to be realistic: he did almost everything wrong.
"I think everybody was watching on TV. I don't need to protect anybody. It was rubbish. What can I say? If I tell you it was good, I am a complete idiot.
"Of course he's a rookie but so is Hamilton so in these two weeks before the next race he needs to change his attitude and try to do better, because he has the capability to do it. Nothing went right today."
It wasn't an especially good day for the reigning World Champions overall either, with the underwhelming Giancarlo Fisichella unable to make an impression at the front of the grid. For the moment at least, Renault appear to be behind BMW and McLaren, as well as the front-running Ferrari.
According to Briatore, his team are around three-tenths of a second per lap slower than their leading rivals - a deficit he blames squarely on the switch to Bridgestone tyres following Michelin's exit from F1.
"We had a balanced car on Michelin, so to switch to Bridgestone we had a disadvantage, while McLaren had a different design so they had an advantage," he complained.
However, the Italian believes that Renault can still usurp McLaren and Ferrari this season.
"We haven't finished development, because when we fitted Bridgestones in the wind tunnel we lost 7%, so we've recovered some of it. When we did the first test with McLaren on track, they had three tenths over us already.
"We hope to recover by Bahrain, when we'll get the new aerodynamic parts."