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Briatore on Formula One

I thought I was outspoken but Flavio Briatore has me beaten hands down. F1 Racing-live reports on his latest pronouncements, including a dig at Ron Dennis and McLaren.

Flavio

Flavio Briatore

Of course, I know it’s all done for publicity but Flavio knows how to make us sit up and take notice anyway. So McLaren has too big a motorhome and factory? Why should that bother Flavio? Unless he thinks Alonso went to McLaren because he wanted more pampering before races. And, if these things adversely affect the competition’s concentration on racing, wouldn’t Flavio be grinning and keeping his mouth shut?

No, it’s all done to stir things up a little in a quiet period between races. But there may be just a hint of envy behind it. McLaren are reputed to be the top spenders in F1, estimates for this year being around $400 million. Renault are said to be in sixth place in the league with only $300 million to spend. Flavio’s outburst might be his way of saying, “Hah, we’re front runners but don’t have nearly as much money as McLaren or Ferrari.”

As for Flavio’s suggestion of reversed grids, it’s been tried in other formulae. Basically, what happens is that there is overtaking like crazy in the first few laps and then the fast guys hit the front. From then on, it’s business as usual. It does smack of turning F1 into a circus, however – making it quite clear that Briatore thinks we watch just for the overtaking and fun. That is not the case. As I’ve pointed out before, F1 fans are amongst the most knowledgeable in any sport (they have to be – it’s just cars going in circles otherwise) and they watch for all the nuances of racing, the cutting edge of technology, the skills of the best drivers in the world, even the politics behind the scenes. We really don’t need some artificial injection of drama to appreciate the sport.

I will admit that it’s the first time I’ve heard night races suggested for F1, however. Quite frankly, the mind boggles. In the words of John McEnroe: “You can not be serious!”

3 Responses to “Briatore on Formula One”

  1. Night races seem to be this year’s fashionable suggestion, some idiots were suggesting the same for MotoGP this year…

  2. You want night races, you go to Le Mans. The idea is crazy otherwise. You gonna stick headlights on F1 cars? Or have the whole circuit lit by floodlights? Sure, that’d be great for safety. ;)

  3. [...] It reminds me of Flavio Briatore’s outburst against McLaren earlier this year. That made no sense at the time unless it was viewed purely as a chance to grab some attention during a quiet week for F1. Perhaps Nick Fry has subscribed to the Briatore school of public relations and the belief that any publicity is good publicity. [...]

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