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!”