Posted on April 17, 2009
Flavio goes for it…big time | James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1

A furious Flavio Briatore continues to rage about the unfairness of Formula 1.

After some savage comments in Melbourne about the integrity of Ross Brawn, his former technical director, the Renault boss has now laid into the FIA and the drivers currently at the front of the field. He claims that a pecking order of Brawn, WIlliams and Toyota shows that F1 has lost all its credibility,

“The drivers in our teams are all world champions and instead there’s a driver who’s a semi-pensioner and another, a decent bloke, but he’s a kerbstone, fighting for the world championship. (A reference to Barrichello and Button respectively). I don’t know how we can say we have credibiity.”

“It’s impossible to make up the ground to those teams. In three or four races the championship will be decided and I can’t see the interest for spectators to watch a Grand Prix, when Button has 60 points and Nakajima has 50. Better to listen to radio or go and do something else.”

Briatore has won four world championships, two with Schumacher in the Benetton days and two with Alonso in the Renault days. In none of those seasons did his team have the kind of advantage that Brawn now enjoys, it was always very tight with Williams, McLaren and Ferrari. Although the mass damper on Alonso’s Renault, before it was banned, gave Renault something the others didn’t have, it did not put them well clear of the opposition, as Brawn is today.

Briatore’s outbursts have confused some of his fellow team principals. He is part of FOTA, indeed he heads the commercial working group, and yet in recent weeks his outbursts against other teams have made it look as though the spirit of FOTA unity now lies in shreds.

A close friend of Bernie Ecclestone, the pair are usually seen together most evenings at Grands Prix. Asked about Briatore’s comments this afternoon, Ecclestone said, “Everyone is entitled to their opinion.”

Flavio also sets his sights on the FIA for allowing a situation to develop which goes competely against the notion of cost saving.

“At a time when we are talking about bringing down budgets to £30 million a year, we have spent £15m on KERS and and other £10m on diffusers. So that leaves five more for travel and paying the employees!”

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Flavio goes for it…big time
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  1.   1. Posted By: mad_dr
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:01 am 

    “£10 on diffusers”?? No wonder the Brawns are so much quicker: spend a bit more than a tenner on your diffuser Flavio! ;)

    In all seriousness, Flavio should know better than to question the integrity of his fellow F1 colleagues. After all, his main driver hasn’t exactly been a beacon of good sportsmanship in F1. Anyone remember the 2007 season?? Spygate, blocking Hamilton in the pits during qualifying, etc…

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  2.   2. Posted By: Leo
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:02 am 

    Sour grapes, anyone?

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  3.   3. Posted By: Aaron James
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:06 am 

    I think someones lost the plot big time.

    “All World Champions”

    Out of the non inventive gang, only Alonso and Raikkonen are WDC, and i do not see Piquet ever getting one.

    Time he was pensioned off himself i think.

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  4.   4. Posted By: ade
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:07 am 

    Poor old Flav, he’s always moaning about something when things aren’t going his way. Maybe his thong’s a bit too tight.
    .
    It’s all grist to the Max & Bernie Mill though, isn’t it? Potshots are being taken right left and centre between the FOTA members (Planet F1 are now reporting that Williams’ Adam Parr is casting aspersions on the legality of past Ferraris) and it looks like they’re all getting a little bit shirty with each other since ‘Diffuser-gate’. How much longer will this apparently unanimous front last?
    .
    A more cynical man than me might expect a fair few more contentious FIA/WMSC/Race Stewards decisions throughout the rest of the season to cause more unrest between the teams…

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  5.   5. Posted By: HR
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:10 am 

    Good old Flavio!

    I always think he spout lots of nonesense but provided you can wade through that he sometimes says what others dare not.

    Certainly he is right about cost cutting. How long has Mosley been banging that drum, at least a decade by my count!

    But those Brawns being so quick has certainly ruffled a lot of feathers hasn’t it.

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  6.   6. Posted By: Sparhawk
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:12 am 

    Age catches us all, unfortunately. It got Flavio :)
    BTW, I thought that in 1995 Benetton Renault had huge advantage.

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  7.   7. Posted By: James Lindfield
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:13 am 

    Flavio has just lost all of my respect…

    Button a Kerbstone??? take flyer Flavio!!! Button & Rubens combined experience has probably aided the rapid development of the car..

    If you were discribing you’re own drivers you would say that Alonso is a ‘hasbeen’ and Piquet junior is riding his fathers reputation…

    I suggest he keeps it firmly zipped!

    Laughable…

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  8.   8. Posted By: Sparhawk
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:13 am 

    BTW, I heard that BMW can still continue to appeal with their Malaysian GP protest. Can you comment on this, Mr. Allen?

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  9.   9. Posted By: *Paul_W*
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:13 am 

    This just strikes of bitterness I’m afraid. The Brawn car is almost certainly the most developed on the grid, so yes it will be fastest. I’m not convinced these diffusers will make such a massive impact for the other cars, a quarter of a second perhaps.

    As for insulting the BrawnGP drivers, well it’s good motivation for them if nothing else, I think they’re wise enough to see past his spitting of the dummy. I think perhaps Flav should be asking more questions of a certain Mr Piquet Jnr rather than taking a pop at someone like Jenson Button who’s got a 100% record in Race and Qually using (for the first time in his career) a race winning car.

    Shall we put it down to some of that Italian rage & jealousy Flav?

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  10.   10. Posted By: martin
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:13 am 

    Anyone know the italian for “sour grapes”?

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  11.   11. Posted By: Ben G
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:14 am 

    And this is the man who somehow charmed Hedie Klum, Naomi Campbell, etc etc?

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  12.   12. Posted By: favomodo
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:16 am 

    I tend to agree that he has a point. Especially about the FIA letting the diffuser thing live it’s own life. Renault is also frustrated about the fact that they’ve showed a diffuser design to the FIA similar to the other three, and this design was rejected. And last year they missed the boat on the motorredesign. So, I can imagine that Briatore is losing his patience and temper…

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  13.   13. Posted By: *Paul_W*
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:19 am 

    PS – I knew those Diffusers were cheap really ;)

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  14.   14. Posted By: P Byrne
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:19 am 

    Them grapes sure are sour!

    He sure as hell doesn’t rate Button, having fired him to bring in Alonso…

    I don’t necessarily agree but jeez…what a character! F1 needs guys like this, not the bunch of corporate ex-aerospace/corporate bores infiltrating McLaren!

    Do you think Flavio is Bernies plant to break up FOTA :-) ?!?

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  15.   15. Posted By: Karmen
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:20 am 

    I can’t see why Flav is acting like this. If Renault were in Brawns’ shoes he will be claiming that they were the best team. All of this is pure jealousy and clearly shows what this man is made of.

    On the other side, come on, he’s a close friend of Bernie and all of us know that neither the FIA or FOM are happy with the FOTA. They are happy with all this ‘diffusers-gate’ because it may cause some problems and destroy the unity of the teams. Let’s not forget it was FOTA that killed Bernie’s illusions of medals. For some time I’ve seen Flav as the successor or Mosley, so I could understand his comments.

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  16.   16. Posted By: Martin P
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:20 am 

    Why is it that we hear positive action from most non-diffuser teams (Red Bull, Newey staying at base; McLaren, added new parts this weekend; BMW & Ferrari, working hard on new diffuser; etc.), but from Renault all we get is Flavio Blusterstory ranting about how they can’t be caught and the Championship is over.

    Surely a multiple Championship winning team with a World Championship winning driver is more resilient than Flavio suggests?

    Either he’s fluffing to then claim plaudits down the line for a remarkable transformation, or they really are in serious trouble financially or technically.

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  17.   17. Posted By: Blip
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:22 am 

    £10 on diffusers, Flavio? No wonder your car is so slow…

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  18.   18. Posted By: Ben
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:23 am 

    Wow,
    I didn’t much care for Ferrari anyway but this is just justifying my feelings…

    toys, pram anyone…

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  19.   19. Posted By: Joel Heaton
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:23 am 

    Perhaps Flavio should spend less time whining about the opposition’s drivers/cars and worry about his own team. Maybe it would be better if he and his crew, you know, built a good car for their world champion? Also, he can’t really complain about driver quality – Nelson?!

    I think Flavio’s comments are totally unfair – Brawn have two world championship-quality drivers working for them. Renault have a top quality, two-times world champion, and another who constantly fails to make it out of Q1, constantly fails to make it in to the points and, on more than the rare occasion, smashes up the car.

    Sour, sour grapes from a horrible, horrible man.

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  20.   20. Posted By: Sam
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:26 am 

    Funny how he is complaining of the unfairness in Formula 1 when his Renault team dodged a couple of bullets during the previous McLaren spy scandal (when Renault were guilty of the virtually the same thing, but avoided the massive fine and point deductions). So yes, perhaps he is right. Formula 1 is very unfair.

    As for his comments about the Brawn drivers, I’m wondering how he refers to Nelson Piquet Jr? I hope the ‘concrete post’ goes on to give him something else to moan about at the end of the year.

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  21.   21. Posted By: The Conspiracist
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:31 am 

    “It’s impossible to make up the ground to those teams. In three or four races the championship will be decided and I can’t see the interest for spectators to watch a Grand Prix, when Button has 60 points and Nakajima has 50. Better to listen to radio or go and do something else.”

    I think this line says a lot about Flavs lack of competitive spirit. What team or sponsor would want a leader that has openly given up all ready. I can see Renault being a team that will soon consider there exit strategy.

    “A close friend of Bernie Ecclestone, the pair are usually seen together most evenings at Grands Prix.”

    Doesn’t Flav and Bernie share a business interest?

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  22.   22. Posted By: Bradley
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:31 am 

    I remember in 2006, Fernando Alonso scored 84 points from a possible 90 in the first half of the season. The championship was decided in the final laps of the final race – under the same scoring system.

    It’s surely just a reflection of the pressure he’s under right now from Renault, given that the implicit objective for this year is “win… or else.”

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  23.   23. Posted By: damianbyrne
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:44 am 

    Flavio’s got a cheek. He conveniently forgets his two championship winning seasons when Benetton tried all sorts ‘rule bending’ initiatives; illegal fuel rig, launch control, to name but two.
    They’ve just been out thunk this time.

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  24.   24. Posted By: Rik M
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:44 am 

    Sour grapes.

    Was he saying the same thing when Schumacher was romping away with the wins in previous years?

    Was it not the case that most people were saying that the start of an era of new rules would shake the order up a bit? It’s great that it’s shaken things up so much! The viewing public must be loving it! I’d love to know how the viewing figures are comparing to last year.

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  25.   25. Posted By: PaulL
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:45 am 

    Although his remarks appear to be excessively extreme, I do think he has a point.

    Button is a guy I’d like to see in a competitive car because he seems a very good driver. But we aren’t getting a picture on how good at the moment. Consider his teammate has been a competitive #2 in his career after he left Jordan and between the other 4 drivers using the double-diffusers there is only one GP win.

    I still think the elite drivers in F1 at the moment are Massa, Hamilton, and Alonso in no particular order.

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  26.   26. Posted By: Oliver Drew
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:46 am 

    Flavio should no better, that is well out of order.

    Again you can only assume that he’s complainng because his team has been caught out.

    Further, to suggest that Rubens is “past it” and “slow” and that Jenson is “good but not worthy” (effectively) is a disgraceful attitude to take.

    Is it the drivers fault their car is over a second a lap faster than the Renault? No.

    He says that he has former World Champions in his team (did I miss a title from Piquet Jnr?) and that makes them more worthy – rubbish. Jenson did brilliantly in 2004 and 2006 proving that he is a very quick driver. Rubens has won races throughout his career for Ferrari and came close to winning several in “poorer” Jordan and Stewart cars earlier in his career. Not slow or unworthy at all.

    As for why people would want to watch it – because having Toyota, Brawn, Williams and Red Bull (because they are very quick too) fight it out is awesome, and makes a change from McLaren, Ferrari and Renault being at the top all the time (not that it was a bad thing that they were).

    Flavio should put more effort into inspiring his team rather than raging at their “misfortune”.

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  27.   27. Posted By: Peter
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:48 am 

    It is maybe harsh, but somehow I realised that I lost quite a lot of interest in this years championship because I don’t think I am seeing the best drivers on the top. I like Jenson a lot, he is a great guy and sportsman, but everyone knows who are the best guys and they are unable to compete because the field is a two class. Regarding the costs I can understand Briatore, they need to burn a lots of cash without adding anything to the sport and at the same time people must get redundant.

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  28.   28. Posted By: AdrianJ
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:49 am 

    Are the FiA going to propose a new Energy Recovery System which harnesses the hot air that comes out of Flavio’s mouth and uses it to generate power for the whole paddock…

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  29.   29. Posted By: JB
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:51 am 

    Piquet Jr World Champion?

    Pull the other one Flav.

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  30.   30. Posted By: Heinz-Harald from Sydney
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:52 am 

    I’ll quote myself from a different response:

    “Being an F1 purist, I must say that I do not like the current pecking order of this year’s World Championship. Why? Brawn, Toyota and Williams do not deserve to be where they are (cue criticism/crucifixion). Like it or lump it, they got lucky due to inorganic rule changes, confusion and unilateral decision making and not because they were any smarter than the other teams (surely the likes of Ferrari et al could have figured out the advantages of the DDD and implemented it much early then Spain or Monaco). As soon as Ferrari/McLaren/BMW/Renault get their cars working, these teams will fall back to where they belong. HOWEVER, if BrawnGP, Williams and Toyota can maintain its dominance from here on in (I mean 2010,2011,2012…AND without further “political interference”) then I will duly eat humble pie. Until then, they are still pretenders to me (except maybe for Williams as they have already proved their worth against the best at their best – as I was very appropriately corrected in a previous post).”

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  31.   31. Posted By: Michael Cowley
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:53 am 

    Flavio is a whining loser. It’s no good complainging that F1 isn’t fair, the situation has been perfectly fair. Renault’s engineers didn’t think hard enough.

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  32.   32. Posted By: Paul
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 9:57 am 

    Could Flavio be doing Bernie a favour? He wouldn’t be avers to doing that would he? … what with them being hand in hand at QPR too. If it’s in Mr Ecclestone’s interest that dischord ripples through FOTA, then Flavio’s his man.

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  33.   33. Posted By: Matthew
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:01 am 

    Sour grapes?
    Toys out of pram?
    Sore loser?

    QPR are only 10th in the championship, and that’s Brawn’s fault? Not helped by Williams or Toyota..

    Come on Flavio, play the game mate.

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  34.   34. Posted By: Phil
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:02 am 

    Toy/pram de-interfacing event.

    That is all.

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  35.   35. Posted By: Stephen Kellett
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:06 am 

    Funny, one day we have Ron stepping down. A man that knows how to win and lose. And today, we have rattles and dummies being hurled around by a different team boss because he isn’t at the front. Very sporting.

    He claims that a pecking order of Brawn, WIlliams and Toyota shows that F1 has lost all its credibility,

    What nonsense. Williams are the longest standing privateer (32 years). They haven’t won the championship in a long time, but they have a history of having done so. Even so, why on earth does having won a championship or not affect your right to contest at the front?

    “The drivers in our teams are all world champions and instead there’s a driver who’s a semi-pensioner and another, a decent bloke, but he’s a kerbstone, fighting for the world championship. (A reference to Barrichello and Button respectively). I don’t know how we can say we have credibiity.”

    Again, pouting more nonsense. Alonso is a world champion. And when he was driving the Renault, at one time he was not world champion. That is the natural order of things isn’t it? You’re not champion, and then when you win it you are? Or should you actually arrive in a car already champion and then race? What utter nonsense.

    As for kerbstone, he finished 3rd in 2004, beaten only by Ferrari. Prior to Brawn this was the last time he has had a decent car (some may suggest 2006). There is a second driver in the Renault team with a famous name that could be deserving of the kerbstone epithet.

    Frankly, Flavio is behaving like a baby. The only pensioner in this whole issue is himself. He should pick up his rattle and put it back in the pram.

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  36.   36. Posted By: David Hodge
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:07 am 

    Oh Flavio, put a “calzino” in it! So now he is whining about two “slow” drivers in a fast car. Well, in case he has forgotten, he has a former WDC and arguably the best driver on the grid already in his car and it is not winning. Did we hear Flavio complaining that his car was too fast when the mass damper cars were leading?

    Basically, give Fernando a faster car and stop whining. Or perhaps recruit the clever engineers to your team for next year’s car.

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  37.   37. Posted By: Colin
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:09 am 

    Blimey, these Ities!

    “Kerbstone” eh, Autosport translated “paracarro” as concrete post. Care to explain and split hairs Sir?

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  38.   38. Posted By: Stephen Kellett
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:10 am 

    I think you’ll find it was his bank balance that did that.

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  39.   39. Posted By: Tom
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:11 am 

    Good point Paul. Very good point.

    Flavio’s doing himself no favours with this tantrum. He’s coming across as extemely whiny and arrogent.

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  40.   40. Posted By: Big Fred
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:13 am 

    Flav’s whining can’t hide the fact his cars are slow even by the standards of the single decked diffuser cars.

    The Renault diffuser design that was declared illegal by CW is not the same or similar to the diffuser 3 cars which was reported on the BBC coverage of FP1 today.

    Can anyone image a more whiny team than Alonso and Briatore?

    Of course Spanky and the money grabbing dwarf will be thrilled at FOTA ripping itself apart.

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  41.   41. Posted By: Peter Freeman
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:17 am 

    Well he IS right about the FIA. This should have been cleared up last year, a simple definitive ruling should have been made. And in the current economy the decision to introduce KERS at this time was monumentally poor, they should have canceled or delayed (2012 at least) its introduction by May last year.

    Really the FIA is proving to be governing F1 very poorly indeed!

    However his go at the driver of other teams is unacceptable. Its just bad taste and bad sportsmanship.

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  42.   42. Posted By: Hans-Joachim from Godalming
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:19 am 

    Hear hear Heinz-Harald from Sydney. Also, I see a lot of mention of the alleged illegality of the ’94/’95 Benetton but less mention of Ross Brawn’s involvement in that same car. Perhaps that’s irrelavant but not as irrelavant as F1 will be if Nakajima ends up with more points than Alonso.

    Now please don’t get too upset by that!

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  43.   43. Posted By: *Paul_W*
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:21 am 

    “I still think the elite drivers in F1 at the moment are Massa, Hamilton, and Alonso in no particular order.”

    I can see how Alonso could be classed up their as he’s performed in cars which weren’t great, like the Renault last season. Hamilton has it all to prove this season, as he’s had the best car in F1 for his first two seasons (taking into account the fragile nature of the 07 & 08 Ferrari’s). Massa didn’t really prove much when he was at Sauber, in fact if I remember correctly it was a bit of a shock that he went to Ferrari given how many times he binned the Sauber.

    This season will tell us a lot about who really is a good driver and who’s had a good car. Schumacher, Senna and co were greats because they could pull something special out in a poor car, lets see if any of the media hyped elite can manage that.

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  44.   44. Posted By: Matthew
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:26 am 

    Redbull, are using Renault engines, and are still much faster then the factory team… and NO trick diffusers.

    mmm.. answer that one Flavio?

    Better engineers me thinks :)

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  45.   45. Posted By: MartinWR
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:26 am 

    mad_dr asks if anyone remembers 2007. Well, yes. Many people probably remember Alonso (great driver although Jense is better), being shafted by McLaren throughout the 2007 season. For some inexplicable reason they seemed determined to ensure he didn’t win a third driver’s championship there (can’t think why) and so they ended up without anything at all for their pains. What a joke it was. I assume that’s what he means.

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  46.   46. Posted By: Matthew
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:28 am 

    psss.. and Hamilton?

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  47.   47. Posted By: Lee
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:30 am 

    @Heinz-Harald from Sydney

    That is a ridiculous opinion! Brawn, Williams and Toyota fully deserve to be where they are as they have produced the best car at the moment. Honda made a decision to concentrate on this car early last year and it has paid off. The diffuser 3 made a good call on their interpretation of the rules and they are now benefitting. Imagine if a football team at the bottom of the premier league bought couple of cheap players that turned out to be great and ended up at the top of the league, would they not deserve it as they just “got lucky”? Luck and good judgement are the things that win you championships in all sports not just F1 and anyone that does well within the rules fully deserve their rewards.

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  48.   48. Posted By: Heinz-Harald from Sydney
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:32 am 

    Do you really believe that the other teams didn’t think of a double-decker diffuser? Maybe I am naive to think that the the non-DDD teams genuinely believed that the DDD was illegal but given Ferrari’s, Renault’s and McLaren’s history of impropriety in regard to contentious technical issues isn’t it likely that the diffuser related provisions would have been exploited by these very teams to maximise performance? Ross Brawn is definitely the best brain in the paddock but I just cannot see any patent reason as to why the non-DDD teams didn’t build a DDD car in the first place or even built their own as soon as they set eyes upon the BGP001. You’re deluded if you think that people like Adrian Newey, Bob Bell, and Willy Rampf didn’t think of a DDD or, at the very least, had the ability to copy Brawn’s DDD.

    Flavio is indeed a whinger but there is a degree of truth in what he is saying (and, admittedly, I’m getting annoyed with Brawn GP’s “supreme arrogance”). Jenson and Rubens are definitely good drivers but they are in a position because of their car rather than their relative ability. We have one driver (Jenson) who needs close to perfect conditions around him to be impressive and another (Rubens) who sulks about everything (e.g. at the 2007 Australian Grand Prix I asked him at an autograph signing why he is so slow and his response – “The car is sh*t).

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  49.   49. Posted By: Willow
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:37 am 

    I kinda agree with Flav, I think it’s a bit harsh, but true. I’m sure all the British supporters are loving Button at the front after McLaren built Lewis a ship. At the end of the day as a neutral supporter the excitement of a new team at the top will wear off and the fact that the best drivers are not up there will cause most people to lose interest in the championship. I’m happy for Button, but I don’t want to watch him run away with it for the next 10 races and win the championship. Is he truelly a champion if his car was designed according to another interpretation of the rules? I don’t think so. This whole mess is thanks to the FIA, the interest in F1 is great at the moment, but it’s gonna wear off quickly!!

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  50.   50. Posted By: Thierry
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:37 am 

    I agree with Flavio, I think if the Brawn wins this year it will make a mockery of formula one, I’m not saying Button or Barichelo doesn’t deserve to win, however we’re not going to see the finishes of the last couple years, I for one is starting to look forward to 2010, they are possibly four great drivers in F1 right now unable to compete, and all of a sudden Button coming from now where start to win races, and possibly the world championship. What a joke F1 has become.

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  51.   51. Posted By: Tom
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:40 am 

    I think it’s less to do with being a charmer and more to do with him having a huge bulge in his trousers.

    That wallet must weight a ton.

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  52.   52. Posted By: Red Andy
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:44 am 

    Maybe because he has two drivers in his team, and they have two world championships between them, that works out at one world championship per driver.

    We should christen this new way of thinking “Flaviomatics,” or something.

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  53.   53. Posted By: Tom
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:47 am 

    Rubbish.

    If Hamilton and Button has swapped teams last season, which one would be world champion right now?

    I’m not disputing that Hamilton, Alonso et al are great drivers. I’m disputing you saying that the likes of Button aren’t, purely on the basis they’ve not had a car to shine in up until now.

    Last year Kovalainen won a race, was he a better driver than Button? I wouldn’t say so. Just because a driver has had a good car for the last few seasons does not make him better than someone who hasn’t.

    Button is proving that he is a quality driver now that he has the opportunity to show it. It is great that drivers who haven’t had the best of cars in recent seasons (Button, Rosberg, Glock) are now given a chance to show what they can do.

    [Reply]


  54.   54. Posted By: Craig
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:49 am 

    How inspiring this speech from Flavio must be to his workforce.

    If that’s the way he feels maybe he should close up his factory and go and do something else himself. Sounds like he has given up to me.

    Funny, I don’t remember this outrage when Mclarens car was untouchable & lapped the field or in 2004 when if a Ferrari was running in the race it came first. Only Button got remotely close to them that year.

    [Reply]


  55.   55. Posted By: Paul
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:49 am 

    1994: Schumacher by 1 pt, BUT that included 2 DSQs and 2 exclusions – so the car was still dominating, even with the opportunity to score 40 less points.

    1995:
    “The 1995 Formula One season was the 46th FIA Formula One World Championship season. It began on March 26, 1995 included 17 races, and ended on November 12. The Drivers’ Championship was won by Michael Schumacher of Benetton for the second year in a row, beating Damon Hill of Williams by 33 points. Benetton won the Constructor’s Championship, beating Williams by a comfortable 29 points.” (Wikipedia)

    So to translate Flavio “waa waa waa the smart guy that used to work for me has out maneuvered me and built a smarter car and found a loophole I didn’t.”

    [Reply]


  56.   56. Posted By: Pedro
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:52 am 

    I don’t understand the pecking order comments. Williams are proven as a excellent team within F1, Toyota are fairly new but they are a massive car manufacturer and Brawn is essentially a Honda with a better power plan

    These teams all deserve to be at the front as they have built the best cars pure and simple……

    [Reply]


  57.   57. Posted By: Formule 1 - Deel 2 - Pagina 116 - 9lives
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:54 am 

    [...] Flavio goes for it…big time Wow, nu daalt hij toch serieus in mijn achting zenne… [...]


  58.   58. Posted By: Kristian
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 10:57 am 

    Lambrini?

    [Reply]


  59.   59. Posted By: Phil
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 11:09 am 

    yes, a football team I think

    [Reply]


  60.   60. Posted By: Peter Freeman
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 11:09 am 

    (did I miss a title from Piquet Jnr?)

    Highest No. of DNF’s in one season?

    [Reply]


  61.   61. Posted By: Clackers
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 11:22 am 

    I am so sick of Flavio’s sour grapes. He’s always whinging. If he hadn’t cried so much in Sepang, we may have got to the end of the race!

    [Reply]


  62.   62. Posted By: iceman
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 11:23 am 

    I think Piquet Jr would have to be a pothole on Flav’s fantasy freeway :)

    [Reply]


  63.   63. Posted By: Mutt & Jeff
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 11:29 am 

    Flavio just venting some Renault pressure me-thinks!

    Silly to comment on 2 very good drivers though. Rubens would have given Shumi a much rougher ride at Ferrari if he’d been allowed & Button now has the car to show off his skills.

    Regarding H-H’s comment re which teams are worthy…

    Surely a team is only as good as the people who work for it. If you recruit the right people you will get a better result.
    F1 is a pool of very talented people & if the best people end up working for 1 team 1 year & another team another year then ‘the team’ will become ‘worthy’.

    I for one welcome fresh blood & like to see the usual pecking order upset. In my opinion the Ferrari/Shumi domination was not good for the sport, the current situation is!

    I would suggest that the danger team for Brawn GP this season are Red Bull…quick & yet to add KERS (which Brawn can’t…unless they could buy & package the Williams system), a trick DDD & movable front wing.

    [Reply]


  64.   64. Posted By: Harry from New York
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 11:33 am 

    This is like rooting for the Yankees (baseball), or another major market team, because they have more money and resources and therefore deserve to win. True, playoffs and World Series between major market teams draw higher ratings and revenue, but baseball “purists” love watching good baseball, regardless of the money spent. Likewise I enjoy good racing in F1, which we have had!

    Or, like many Americans I do love an underdog. The Superfriends at Aguri received a disproportionate amount of support from American fans and media too.

    [Reply]


  65.   65. Posted By: floydthebarber71
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 11:37 am 

    hectic!!! you see, the double decker diffuser isnt the only thing that is making those teams dominant……

    [Reply]


  66.   66. Posted By: ade
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 11:40 am 

    HH: “Like it or lump it, they got lucky due to inorganic rule changes, confusion and unilateral decision making and not because they were any smarter than the other teams”
    .
    EH?
    .
    “(surely the likes of Ferrari et al could have figured out the advantages of the DDD and implemented it much early then Spain or Monaco)”
    .
    Perhaps, unlike the diffuser three, ‘the likes of Ferrari et al’ just didn’t ‘get lucky’…

    [Reply]


  67.   67. Posted By: Leo Allen
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 11:49 am 

    Never had a lot of time for the Bennetton Big Mouth and now I have even less…..

    What a superb example he is setting for the really excellent young drivers, engineers, mechanics Renault has always had in it’s first class team.

    ‘Guys, this is how you behave when the going gets tough and decisions go against you….! Other, wiser people might think it’s a good idea to keep your big mouth shut and get your head down. Work like hell. Fix it !

    Not me ! Oh NO !

    I think it’s important to be as nasty and unpleasant as possible. Defame as many people as you can. Upset as many people as you can. And generally behave like a spoilt child…suppose that’s all I am really !’

    Good god ! Briatore makes Eddie Jordan seem like a quietly intelligent and perceptive guru !

    [Reply]


  68.   68. Posted By: Marilyn
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 11:53 am 

    Peter I agree, with your post. Jenson is a great guy and good driver, but certainly not the best. The car on the other hand seems to be the best, so anyone of those drivers out there could do well.
    I don’t mind the underdog having their day, but I’m not kidding myself that I am looking at the best driver. ( not you, but some are).
    To my mind the best driver can put a under performing car in the points. Jenson could not do that, nevertheless, it seems like Brawn has it this year, and good luck to them. But I think the championship is over for the rest. I like a good fight, so losing interest now. Think I will finish off my MBA instead, may be get a distinction since I won’t be distracted by this season!

    [Reply]


  69.   69. Posted By: Martin P
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 12:05 pm 

    Wasn’t Benetton an upset to the usual “order” when it burst onto the scene winning championships?

    Who managed that upstart of a team then?

    [Reply]


  70.   70. Posted By: The Durrant
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 12:06 pm 

    Ah, all this talk of triple Ds is making my head swim…

    [Reply]


  71.   71. Posted By: john g
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 12:21 pm 

    i think it’s pretty naive to think that the big teams got caught with their pants down with regard to the diffuser issue. i believe that they made a concious decision to play by the rules and so didn’t entertain the idea of the split diffuser. i don’t think it was especially clever to go that route (does anyone genuinely think that the honda, williams, and toyota engineers are smarter and more creative than anyone else!?) and it was unsportsman-like, but there as newey says, there’s no such thing as the ‘spirit of the regulations’ and you do whatever you can to gain competitive advantage so it’s entirely understandable. the only body at fault is the FIA.

    however, this does all point to the fact that newey has designed a stunning car out of everyone that took the conservative ruling.

    [Reply]


  72.   72. Posted By: Martin P
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 12:36 pm 

    Maybe it’s time to just say “Here’s £30m, go build a car and the only condition is it has to pass the crash tests”.

    Personally I’d want one that looks like the Double D from Wacky Races. Flavio can have the Pat Pending mobile.

    [Reply]


  73.   73. Posted By: Cliff
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 12:37 pm 

    HH, the other teams were asked to look at the rules governing the Difusers by Ross Brawn. They as good as laughed him out of the room. Ross Brawn wanted tighter controls around this area of the car and was ignored. The teams did not see it coming because of the unwillingness to discuss the matter further. Had they engaged in some meaningful dialogue this row could have been avoided. I would suggest that the fault lies not with Brawn, Toyota & Williams, but with the Technical Directors of the other teams.

    [Reply]


  74.   74. Posted By: Peter Freeman
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 12:37 pm 

    McLaren were not part of the protest…

    Their car is bad anyway… sort of like the Renault but just a little worse. They wisely decided to give this one a miss and work on their own DD car instead!

    [Reply]


  75.   75. Posted By: Andy J
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 12:52 pm 

    Not a football team. QPR. An entirely different thing altogether.

    [Reply]


  76.   76. Posted By: Mat
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 12:54 pm 

    I assume you mean Renault?

    [Reply]


  77.   77. Posted By: Matthew
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 1:02 pm 

    He can’t see the interest for spectators? He needs to get down to the opticians then as this is shaping up to be the most interesting F1 season for years!

    [Reply]


  78.   78. Posted By: Mike Sheppard
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 1:09 pm 

    Flavio talks sense most of the time and so we should forgive the ocassional times he loses the plot

    [Reply]


  79.   79. Posted By: Lee
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 1:20 pm 

    They may well have thought of the idea but they did not work out (or take the chance) that the design could be made to fit inside the rules. Three teams decided that they strongly believed that the diffusers were within the rules and they are reaping the benefits. They have now been proved right to do so as the other teams’ appeal failed and it is now clarified that they are legal. How is that luck? A few years ago a football team (can’t remember which one) found a loophole in the offside rule. They placed a player directly in front of the goal keeper who then ran moved away from the goal as soon as the ball was kicked. As he was therfore not interfering with play he was deemed to be onside, however the keeper had been completely blocked from viewing the ball. This team scored a few goals with this method. They were not cheating they were just clever. The rules in F1 are so complex that their are many loopholes to exploit just as Ferrari are currently doing with their sidepod turning veins. This is what gives teams the edge in a sport where very tiny differences can give big advantages. If it were not for rule exploitation they might as well ditch their engineers and just produce identical cars to each other. It is ridiculous to suggest that a team is unworthy due to outhinking the others as this is what Racing is all about.

    [Reply]


  80.   80. Posted By: Silverstone Geezer
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 1:38 pm 

    Hmmm -

    - Ecclestone’s one of the shrewdest, craftiest tacticians out there today. We may not like him, but look back over the past 25 years and look at the ratio of decisions he’s taken that have proved to benefit him/F1 against those that haven’t
    - The FOTA could easily become a major obstacle to his plans (e.g :- getting rid of the British GP)
    - Briattore is his mate

    QED I believe.

    As for calling JB a kerbstone. He’s always been a great driver looking for the right car. He is, though, a “nice bloke” in a similar mould to Mark Webber, and lacks The Edge to fight nasty (which LH is beginning to show he has ?)

    [Reply]


  81.   81. Posted By: Leg-End
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 1:41 pm 

    So any team that has never won before or is new to a series must not win a race or even be allowed up the front, heaven forbid beat a Renault, McLaren or Ferrari. Ridiculous.

    [Reply]


  82.   82. Posted By: Filipe Furtado
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 1:42 pm 

    Well, Paul. If you look at the 2005 season (the last time there were some change in the status quo), it was an Alonso vs. Kimi fight, and they got previously from that one and two wins (while Alonso team mate Fisichella had one win in a chaotic race while Montoya had a strong resume but still not better than Barrichello’s).

    [Reply]


  83.   83. Posted By: Javier
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 1:46 pm 

    I think all of your opinions are respectable but they are not neutral as we are talking about Brawn GP and Jenson Button. What if Ferrari were in Brawn´s position? I bet you´ll be much more critics about them and possibly you´ll have a different opinion about the whole issue…
    Facts are FIA allowed some teams use a hole in the rules cause some obscure reasons. FIA is not innocent at all, NEVER… Good for Ross Brawn and for Jenson, they are great professionals but this situation is not fair from the beginning.
    And I´m not a Ferrari fan at all, by the way…
    Pd: Jenson better than Fernando…? Well… It´s an opinion…

    [Reply]


  84.   84. Posted By: mingojo
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 2:11 pm 

    I remember quite well. But I thought it was Lewis who provoked the whole incident. You seem to forget that in your post Mad.

    [Reply]


  85.   85. Posted By: mingojo
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 2:17 pm 

    I think Fernando could have won earlier but FIA decided to give a hand to Michael.

    [Reply]


  86.   86. Posted By: Andy J
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 2:37 pm 

    Can’t really agree.

    Brawn are being seen as pretenders, but let’s not forget that a few seasons ago Jenson was 3rd in the driver’s championship in a Honda. They’ve had a couple of very lean years but with a competent guy at the helm (who few would deny was a major contributor to Ferrari’s dominance) they’ve come up with a winner.

    F1 is littered with cases of different interpretations of the rules. Sometimes the protagonists have been successful, sometimes not. However, it’s a feature of the sport.

    The new blood at the top of the table is in my opinion very welcome, and bear in mind that Red Bull (without the double diffuser) have been mixing it up front too. The ingenuity of designers is one of the factors that makes F1 so special, and this year the big boys have been caught napping. If they are as good as you seem to imply it will be no time at all until they are back at the front and your ‘natural order’ will have been restored. We shall see.

    [Reply]


  87.   87. Posted By: Stephen Russell
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 2:37 pm 

    Good old Flav mixing it up! I think its good we have a bit of spice to the weekend :D

    By the way I bet the Renault designers are very relieved Flav treats his F1 employees a lot better than his QPR ones!!!

    [Reply]


  88.   88. Posted By: Andy J
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 2:41 pm 

    “We have one driver (Jenson) who needs close to perfect conditions around him to be impressive”

    And Michael Schumacher didn’t work to have perfect conditions around him to help him win his multiple championships? And that’s not even taking into consideration the fact that Rubens wasn’t allowed to win… ;)

    [Reply]


  89.   89. Posted By: Geoff Thomas
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 2:56 pm 

    Flav has lost it completely. A typically Italian rant has left him looking extremely stupid. The Renault bosses must be seething with rage about how he has brought their team – and the sport that costs them millions – into disrepute. If anyone’s going to be penalised following the ‘spy-gate’ saga, then so should the infantile Briatore for his outburst. I’m sure that it’s very frustrating for Flav and his team (especially the designers and drivers) to have been caught with their pants round their ankles by three teams that were regarded as also-rans only last season. Sadly, the Renault looks like a barge (and on TV at least looks as though it handles only slightly better than it looks) and the capricious Alonso must be kicking himself for making yet another bad choice of team. I can’t believe that this year’s Renault is suddenly going to gain anything like the pace required even if its triple-deck diffuser conceals a rocket motor. Despite his Italian background, Briatore does not have a God-given right to win or even to be competitive. He has been exposed as an opportunist loud-mouth who should remember than F1 is a sport as well as being wonderful entertainment. Maybe he and Ross Brawn have a history…maybe he’s just an embittered old man. Whatever, he deserves to be punished for his injudicious outburst which, poetntially, has done incredible damage to the sport. Renault should sack him and employ some designers who have (a) an eye for aesthetics (remember, what looks right, goes right) and (b) the ability to exploit the regulations as they stand. To claim publically that the FIA and the court of appeal have risked another fatality through their diffuser decision is an insult to the memory of Ayrton Senna and a wicked comment that deserves a rebuke – at least – from the people to whom he reports. Get a grip Flav…put up or shut up.
    Geoff Thomas – South Yorkshire

    [Reply]


  90.   90. Posted By: David Hodge
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 3:10 pm 

    Flavio has to do his talking on the track – basically, why is he not ahead of the Red Bulls? It can’t be drivers – Alonso and Vettel are both very, very good so would get the best from a car – last season’s Renault for example where Fernando flattered the car in the early part of the season. If Flav was ahead of the Red Bulls, then I would take more notice.

    Then why are Williams sort of behind the Red Bulls? If this diffuser was such a magic bullet, then surely, it should be 2 x 2 cars for the first 3 rows of the grid. If people are to be believed, then even Nakajima should be out-qualifying the Vettels and Webbers of this world.

    Nice blokes and good equipment. Damon Hill – 1996. QED. Jenson has spent plenty of time in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now he is in the right place at the right time. Good luck to him.

    [Reply]


  91.   91. Posted By: Sam
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 3:56 pm 

    “I think Flavio’s comments are totally unfair – Brawn have two world championship-quality drivers working for them”

    I agree that Flav comments are unfair because those engineers in the factory work so hard and he tried to take that away. But with respect, I cannot agree with the remaining statement.

    I honestly don’t think these guys can win championships in. let say, a Ferrari or a Maclaren 2008.

    [Reply]


  92.   92. Posted By: Sam
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 4:01 pm 

    Well, I think many people overlooked that FIA didnt ban the points he scored with his illegal mass dampers.So in a way, FIA helped him too, in order to ensure that championship last until the final race.

    [Reply]


  93.   93. Posted By: anne
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 5:06 pm 

    I don’t know if anyone here is familiar with the new Oreo cookies commerical,

    Here it is http://www.nabiscoworld.com/Oreo/funstix/

    In other words, ” GROW UP FLAVIO”

    Thank god Heidi Klum is married to Seal, he makes a better father to your daughter!

    [Reply]


  94.   94. Posted By: rpaco
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 5:39 pm 

    Amendment to my post of yesterday. Should now read “Throwing his kerbstones out of his pram” ;-)

    Were all this happening at Silverstone, I cannot help thinking that tomorrow morning Flav may find his pit barricaded with kerbstones.

    [Reply]


  95.   95. Posted By: Treaded Lurgy
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 8:10 pm 

    I seem to recall Flavio in ebullient form commenting on his ‘return’ to the Renault team a few years back that:
    “In Formula One there are winners and w*nkers. And I am not a w*nker”

    So Flav me old mucker – shall we pass you the tissues now?

    Note to mods – -sorry if this looks offensive – -but he DID say it!

    [Reply]


  96.   96. Posted By: Treaded Lurgy
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 8:17 pm 

    ”the fact that the best drivers are not up there”

    I beg to differ old chap
    With F1 regarded as the pinnacle of motorsport and all 20 drivers holding a superlicence, then surely all those 20 drivers can be regarded as the best drivers?

    [Reply]


  97.   97. Posted By: f1punter
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 8:23 pm 

  98.   98. Posted By: sean
        Date: April 17th, 2009 @ 8:32 pm 

    what is happening this stage of the season will have no reflection on the latter part of the year.See what hamilton was doing with just a few new parts yesterday.Brawn will have won it by monaco but by then the other teams will have there aero sorted at huge expense as stated by flav and mario. Ferrari have bined the car & kers till after spain so the situation of the last half being dominated by these teams is very much on. They have all missed judged the designes massively,remember brawn[ex honda],williams & toyota for the last few years haven’t been able to design a shopping trolley yet there new design’s under new rules are rockets maybe some of the team owners might start looking at there own aero departments instead of singling out drivers. Assuming natural justice will prevail then we will have totally different grids to what we see now. My greatest concern is that these teams design’s dont work so they all decide to start using the rest of the season as abig test session for next year this could really damage the credibility of the sport over all

    [Reply]


  99.   99. Posted By: F1QA
        Date: April 18th, 2009 @ 12:04 am 

    Agreed, the best drivers aren’t out front because of this diffuser debacle. Everyone has to take some blame for mis-managing the situation for it to reach this confused state. On the bright side, even housewives at the supermarket are talking about double diffusers and the championship has been wild and wooly, so far. So it is all good news for F1. Yet, like in 2006 and many other years before, the status quo will even itself out over the course of the season, like the golfer who scorches the front nine and comes back to earth on the back. Briatore is working his macchivelian psychology and softening up the current ‘pretenders’ until his troops can get their house, or in this case diffuser in order. Another interesting season in F1 is beginning to unfold.

    [Reply]


  100.   100. Posted By: Top Posts « WordPress.com
        Date: April 18th, 2009 @ 1:10 am 

    [...] Flavio goes for it…big time A furious Flavio Briatore continues to rage about the unfairness of Formula 1. After some savage comments in Melbourne [...] [...]


  101.   101. Posted By: anne
        Date: April 18th, 2009 @ 2:32 pm 

    I see Alonso qualified 2nd, now maybe Flavio can stop his whining, lets just see if he can win in the race though. I think it’s up to Red Bull or Brawn to take it.

    [Reply]


  102.   102. Posted By: Ben
        Date: April 19th, 2009 @ 7:27 am 

    yes, oops. was reading a ferrari thing while posting that :/

    [Reply]

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