Flavio Briatore has distanced himself from Formula 1, at least partially. He is no longer a team manager, but he still manages the contracts of his protégé Fernando Alonso, who will return to the big circus with Renault.
The Insider interviewed him as a profound connoisseur of motorsport par excellence. The main theme is the season that has just started, with Mercedes domination and the Ferrari crisis, but also the technological level that sweeps away the qualities of the drivers.
Nobody wants Mercedes domination
When there is only one winner, for granted, interest in the sport drops, and nobody likes Mercedes domination. In fact, you can only bet on Hamilton or Bottas using online betting site, and the championship seems to have already been awarded.
The problem, according to Briatore, is Mercedes domination. The technological level of German cars is so high that according to him at least 5 drivers could win with the same car as the Englishman.
Hamilton is strong, says Briatore, but the only time he has had a real competitor, Rosberg, the Englishman has lost.
Without a competitor for Mercedes it will be easy to win, and Ferrari, according to Briatore, will not be able to counteract this domination.
The problem, for the Cavallino, is the organization of the team. A serious problem, so much so that for the former Benetton and Renault team manager it will be necessary to reset the management structure to get results.
Briatore and today’s Formula 1
Briatore knows Formula 1 well, after twenty years as a team manager and 7 titles won. But today’s is not for him. He knows everyone in Formula 1, but there are not the right opportunities for his return as a protagonist.
He prefers to deal with Fernando Alonso, whom he considers the best driver today, comparing him to Schumacher. He considers them both champions, because they can withstand the pressure, but also any weather conditions. They can race in the wet, in the dry, but above all they always go to the limit, facilitating the work of the team so that they can understand what the car can really give.
Today he talks with Renault, on behalf of Alonso. The French team is not ready yet, they have problems with the chassis part and the Enstone part.
To be competitive, the French will have to wait until 2022, and work well on those two parts, while Briatore has a lot of confidence in the team as regards the organizational and engine parts.
On the drivers
Briatore also spoke about today’s drivers. Leclerc is good, a predestined one, and he is proving it, while he does not understand why Ferrari has already hired Sainz, putting Vettel in difficulty. In fact, the Spaniard is not a Schumacher, and Ferrari could also have waited to hire him and use an option.
Now Vettel is depressed, and pressed by his teammate who is a very good driver.
Another great driver, according to Briatore, is Verstappen.
“He puts the car where he wants”, says Briatore, “a gladiator … what people want”. Technology has instead killed the show, and today drivers no longer make a difference.