Ross Brawn has put Flavio Briatore's stinging criticism of him down to 'emotions' after the Renault team chief hit out at the Briton for his role in Formula 1's diffuser controversy.
Briatore has been left furious about the diffuser dispute that overshadowed the build-up to the Australian Grand Prix, and is especially angry that Brawn - who is head of FOTA's technical commission - did not sort the matter out before this weekend.
The Renault boss told the Italian media: "We've known for two months that there was this problem and someone should have done something about it. I don't like the behaviour of the FOTA technical delegate, who should have reported this thing immediately.
"Brawn should have been fair. Three months ago he should have come to us to tell us there are two interpretations over the diffusers. When I go to the FIA or to [Bernie] Ecclestone, I go in the name of the FOTA, not Renault's. I don't like the fact that a FOTA representative didn't relate things transparently."
When asked by AUTOSPORT whether he was surprised about Briatore's comments, Brawn said: "I think they were a bit emotional. I think if he takes a step back and thinks about it, they were not very logical and a bit emotional.
"Clearly he's got a bit of a challenge with the team at the moment and he's firing out in every direction."
Briatore remains unhappy about the diffuser situation, however, and has echoed comments from BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen that the designs could herald a return of ground effect.
"Since Mosley became president of the FIA, each change in regulations has been done to reduce speed and to disallow a return of ground effect and mini skirts," added Briatore.
"Instead, by allowing this kind of diffuser, the possibility of obtaining an extraordinary ground effect has been allowed. What they have done isn't following the principles of the rules.
"This is an ironic situation: we had already been forced by a team to use the KERS, we've spent crazy amounts of money, we have it while that team doesn't [on Robert Kubica's car]. Going this direction, at Barcelona we'll all have ground effect, but we'll have to re-do half the car. And then they talk about cutting costs...
"With this solution you gain 14% aerodynamic load: give us a few months and we'll gain 30-40%, and the lap times will decrease by two seconds.
"The truth is that when Charlie Whiting was asked for an opinion over the legality of the solution, he wasn't told the entire truth. I think he got fooled by those bandits, the sporting directors.
"If 70% of the teams has followed an interpretation, and in this 70% there are all the teams that have won the titles in the last few years, then that must mean something, no?
"Brawn no, he has never won titles, because those were won by Jean Todt and Stefano Domenicali, Flavio Briatore and Ron Dennis. Anyway, to make us give up they have to kill us. We're going all the way."