Mercedes should back one driver – Briatore

2014 Italian Grand Prix

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Former Renault and Benetton team principal Flavio Briatore says Mercedes’ policy of letting both drivers fight for the world championship is costing the team.

Briatore, who has not worked in F1 since leaving Renault after his role in the Crashgate affair was revealed in 2009, is attending this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

“This season is terrific,” he said in an interview for the Official F1 App. “We need to congratulate Mercedes because [they’ve] done an amazing job and in this moment they are really the top.”

However when asked how he would manage the situation following the collision between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at Spa he said: “You know what? My philosophy was to race one driver.”

“There’s only one world champion. And after you have a constructors’ championship. The two drivers are good for take the points for the constructor, but have one driver.

“My team was always one guy given all the equipment to win. And what happened to Mercedes is good for the spectator, less good I think so for Mercedes.

“The drivers need to understand that to put this car together a thousand people is working. The car is not yours – I always tell me drivers ‘the car is not yours, you borrowed the car for two hours and you give it back to us’. So just a moment you fight.

“And [if there] is no damage, it is fantastic for the public, fantastic for the team. But when you fight and you see is 90% is possible… these people know some corner it’s not possible to go in like this. This is different, I don’t like it.”

Briatore suspects Hamilton will find it hard to overcome his 29-point deficit in the remaining races. “I think at this moment that Nico looks very strong,” he said.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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40 comments on “Mercedes should back one driver – Briatore”

  1. Shut up Briatore! You let Button, Trulli, Fisichella and Piquet Jr down and cheated in 2008 so you deserve not to be in a team you cheater!

    1. @ultimateuzair Yeah, why on earth this man is still hanging around F1, even allowed near the races, and interviewed or involved in any way is completely beyond me.

      You know what? My philosophy was to race one driver

      Yes Briatore, one race, the other purposefully crash.

      And [if there] is no damage, it is fantastic for the public, fantastic for the team

      And if there is damage, we made sure it was fantastic for the team, and life-threatening to the public.

  2. And this is why Briatore should have no involvement in making F1 more exciting…

    1. Had exactly the same thought. It’s almost absurd how much irony is packed in his statement.

  3. And that is why we don’t need you to “spice up the show”!

  4. Well, Briatore did win 4 WDC and 3 WCC with Benetton/Renault, who were financially smaller than Mercedes; so obviously despite the man being morally corrupt, he knows what he’s talking about.

    With that being said, realistically speaking there’s no real way that Mercedes will lose either championships this year (unless Ricciardo pulls off a miracle); this season is reminiscent of Senna/Prost or Piquet/Mansell, so let them boys have it.

    1. He knows nothing about F1. Everything he has ever achieved is tainted and valueless because he’s a lying cheat. The sport he won in is not the sport I am a fan of.

      What he knows is deceit and cheating. If you want lessons in that, then fine – listen to him.

      1. Yeah, but the only fact with any real value is that F1’s history and all athletic/sporting records will always state that when Flavio Briatore was Team Principal, Benetton/Schumacher + Renault/Alonso won WCCs and WDCs in ’94, ’95, ’05 and ’06, and scored a lot of race wins and podiums during those times and even in non-championship winning years.

        1. Yeah and Lance Armstrong ‘won’ 7 Tour de France’s.

      2. He knows nothing about F1.

        Well, that’s not true. Yes, he is a lying cheat, but the guy knows F1. He managed successful drivers and was team principal for winning teams.

    2. @kingshark

      Briatore did win with Benetton/Renault

      You mean the one where an illegal software was found in their cars (but they allegedly did not use it)? Or the one where they made an illegal modification to their fuel rig to save seconds?
      Schumacher had a good teacher, indeed.
      Briatore is the last person on Earth that F1 should listen to.

      I second your second paragraph (and secretly wish that Ricciardo would pull it off, I am getting tired of both boys’ antics).

  5. That’d go down a treat I’m sure.

    Having two competitive drivers is certainly not a handicap in the constructor’s battle. If one car fails, you at least need the other to be able to slot in to their position.

  6. Briatore is right, but which of the current Mercedes drivers would have been his number-1 driver?

  7. Flav. Please shut up. After your antics you have no cred in this.

  8. Crawl back under your rock, you odious little slug.

  9. Yes Flavio, Wolff should ask Hamilton to crash in Singapore.

    1. Whoah! Comment of the day!

      1. Rosberg as punishment!

  10. My team was always one guy given all the equipment to win.

    And, if deemed expedient, tell the other guy to crash on purpose.

    No one’s interested in the thoughts of a cheat.

  11. Go home, Flavio, you’re drunk..

  12. He effectively cost Massa the title that year. If the crash hadn’t been staged Massa would most likely have won that race or at least picked up the points needed. I wonder if the cheating was found out at the time of the race would the result have stood?

    1. Formula Indonesia (@)
      6th September 2014, 1:10

      And then Hamilton could have got no champion

    2. If looking at three options:
      1. Race results annulled
      2. Race results stand with Alonso DQ.
      3. Race results declared at the time of Piquet’s crash, half points awarded

      Anyway, in each case that would have changed the approach for the future races so it’s not sensible to say that it cost Massa championship.

  13. Like Briatore’s opinion counts for anything!

  14. The only thing the in-fighting has caused is the loss of 1 1st place trophy from Spa and 25 constructors points (effectively ~40 including the Red Bulls’ improved positions) which they could easily afford to lose. So why on Earth do they need to back one driver?

  15. I fail to understand why we are still paying attention to what this sad figure has to say about anything.

  16. Having Briatore attending a Grand Prix and pontificating is a real breath of rancid air.

  17. Honestly… I am bit of angry at you Keith that you even put such article on this site… I mean seriously… This is one of the biggest cheats F1 ever had and no matter what he says he shouldn’t be promoted in any way.
    It’s better to forget that he even exists.
    I know it’s your blog and you can do whatever you want but I was expecting something better from you as I always threat this blog as the real F1 fanatic website where fair play is rewarded and cheats forgotten.

    1. @toxic – “…and no matter what he says he shouldn’t be promoted in any way.
      It’s better to forget that he even exists.”

      And yet, you are commenting on him.

      Realistically though, when he was banned from F1, when the ban was lifted and unfortunately even now, it is still news that has to do with F1. I would rather have news reported and then I can decide whether to ignore it or maybe post a few rather acerbic comments about the pompous putz.

      1. @bullmello – I am not. I actually commented on the fact that we have this article. I actually haven’t red it. The header was enough to put me away.

    2. @toxic I couldn’t agree more. The man doesn’t even deserve the right to an opinion.

    3. I must back up behind Keith in this issue. Briatores opinion is a good measure for all of us to know where to put ourselves in this debate;-) And it is important to show how old fashioned Briatore is, and open some eyes towards the validity of other arguments and opinions from him. Most of us knows that nothing good comes from commanding the drivers to let the other by or to yield. We have seen too many problems with that. And to technically prevent one driver from being as good as the other would probably cost even more constructors points – and be highly unfair.

  18. Flavio, no offence, but I think everyone knows better than to take advice from a man who brought the sport to shame.

  19. He is of course right. You only have ONE world champion, so you give ONE driver all the means to achieve it. That’s simple logic. Otherwise, I like his comments about having respect for the people at the factory building the cars. And lastly, because he is the most successful team principal in the history of F1, he knows what he is talking about.

  20. Keith – thanks for reporting on what Flav said; despite what seems to be somewhat venomous disregard for him by a few comments above, it is good to hear what he has to say about driver management and other F1 matters.

    For those that despise him, what did he do that was worse than the “greats” of F1 history who, of their own volition, rammed their cars into another car with the intent of taking the other driver out? Senna, et al. Flav’s action iwas tame by comparison. He’s a colourful character in a sport that has been littered with colourful characters.

    1. I agree 100% with you under Keith posting the article.
      Now, on Senna being a cheat, I do not agree. I do not know if you know the circumstances but it was totally different. A real cheater was Schumacher and Briatore; software, ramming damon Hill, black flags…and more.

    2. Not justifying questionable acts of any drivers, but I think a team principal has different responsibilities and obligations than drivers do. After all, the team principal is in charge of hundreds of employees, including the drivers, and is ultimately responsible for everything they do.

      When a team principal puts the entire team in disrepute, willfully endangers the lives of his own and other drivers, willfully endangers the lives of track marshals, then he should have no place in F1, as a visitor or otherwise. The team boss is supposed to lead the whole team by example. He can replace drivers if they make mistakes, but it doesn’t (usually) work the other way around.

      F1 is better off without Briatore. For some reason Bernie doesn’t view it that way.

  21. This creep is slowly positioning himself to return to F1. First he casually appears at the grid before the start of the race (while he shouldn’t be allowed to come at a race in my opinion), then he is giving sound-bites and statements to the press, then he is invited to a group dedicated to improve the show and next thing you know he will be running a team again.

    FIA seriously dropped the ball, first when he overturned their decision for “ban for life” then when Bernie put him on the board of “improving the show” committee and they didn’t even protest about it…

    1. @gabal Yeah, the decision to let him help “improve the show” screams irony as his very existence in F1 puts people like myself off.

      1. Probably the most disturbing thing about Briatore returning to the F1 scene is that he is doing so at the invitation of Bernie. According to reports, as a guest of Bernie this weekend at Monza and evidently also at Bernie’s behest on the so called improving the show committee. Sadly, this says more bout Bernie than it does about Briatore.

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