Briatore: carmakers should commit to F1
|By Jonathan Noble||Friday, February 10th 2006, 13:14 GMT|
Renault boss Flavio Briatore believes the time has come for Formula One's manufacturers to accept that their best hope for the future is in aligning themselves with Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone.
Although the five members of the Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Toyota and Honda, have agreed to stay committed to their breakaway plans until later this year, Briatore has made it clear that he has no doubts where his team are likely to focus beyond that.
In an interview with Auto Motor Und Sport, Briatore said that the only sensible solution for the future was the low-cost F1 being planned by Mosley - and warned that the sport could 'destroy' itself if the breakaway happened.
"It is very simple," said Briatore. "The cards are on the table and everybody is free to decide what he prefers. The ones who want to compete with reasonable cost have to stay in Formula One. The rest have to do something different.
"We only should have one thing in mind. It took ages to bring this sport to the level that we have now. It can take only one season to destroy it all."
Briatore claims that the idea of manufacturers running a championship does not make sense, because of the amount of self-interest likely to exist between the competitors. He thinks only Mosley and Ecclestone are able to look at the bigger picture and help secure the long-term future of the sport.
"People in this business have a very short memory," he explained. "For most of us the world ends at the door of our own garage.
"Max and Bernie see the whole picture. Mosley has to act as he does, because we never find an agreement. It is normal that doing this results from time to time in not so good decisions.
"But all in all he does a very good job. Bernie made us all rich. I do not understand the people, who complain all the time, that they do not get enough money.
"I know colleagues who started as normal people in this business. Now, they are normal people with a private jet."
Although Mosley's plans to reduce technology and costs in F1 from 2008 have been on the receiving end of criticism from some manufacturers, Briatore actually believes they do not go far enough.
"Max is right with his new rules," he said. "We must cut the cost to guarantee a future to Formula One. For me he could have gone even further with his cost saving measures."
He added: "A Grand Prix is a two-day event. Friday should be a test day. Then we would not need to test during the season at all. The single tyre supplier and a few additional standard parts on the car will support that.
"I would cut testing before the season to one week. That should be enough to see whether the new cars are running and everything is safe. We burn millions of dollars with testing and nobody watches us. What a waste of money."
And Briatore has even suggested that the best solution would be for the sport to impose a budget cap - which would be enforced by the FIA in the same way that the Inland Revenue oversees company's accounts.
"The ideal situation would be to have a budget cap of 100 million dollars for each team," he said.
"The job of the FIA would then be to police the budgets, just like the tax office is controlling your income and expenses. In such a formula, efficiency would win. Who makes the most with a given amount of money?"