Briatore on Senna and Schumacher in 1994

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    I cam across an 25-year-old pre-season quote from Flavio Briatore, then-Benetton boss, referring to Michael Schumacher (a two-times grand prix winner at that point) and Ayrton Senna:

    I don’t want to stay in F1 for 25 years because it doesn’t interest me that much. I see it from a business point of view. For that reason, I would never employ Senna. I win the world championship with Michael Schumacher, it’s a win for Benetton; I win it with Senna, it’s a win for Ayrton.

    Does his point hold up with the benefit of hindsight? I’m not sure it does. I think inevitably when you have a mega-talent like Schumacher you think of them first and the car second. The constructor inevitably gets overlooked.

    What do you think?


    How can he win it for Senna when he never employs Senna?

    Ben Needham

    It’s an interesting quote. Personally when someone says to me “Who won the championship in xxxx?”, my mind is automatically thinking about the driver; the constructor is secondary to me. The only exception for me is probably 2009 when I immediately think of the Brawn GP story (sorry Jenson…).

    He’s clearly made the quote thinking “Senna is a household name, Schumacher is not”… forgetting that the moment Schumacher won the WDC he too became a household name.

    Fer no.65

    I’m with @ben-n Drivers come first, constructors are just secondary.

    I always thought Frank firing Mansell and Hill had its roots on him wanting to put his products ahead of his drivers, which I think it worked. Their dominance in the 90s is probably the period where I think more about their Rothmans livered cars than the guys at the wheel…

    But returning to what Briatore said, I guess in hindsight it doesn’t bode well for him, because all I think of that Benetton are the claims that it was an illegal car.

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