Briatore confesses to slip-up

Renault boss Flavio Briatore has taken the blame for seeing his team lose out in the fight for second place in the constructors' championship last year - but believes the slip-up could prove to have been the key to a far more competitive 2005

Briatore confesses to slip-up

The flamboyant Italian, who saw his team lose out to arch rivals BAR in the fight for best-of-the-rest behind Ferrari last year, claims that his team's poor finish to the 2004 campaign was the result of him telling his staff to focus all its effort on its 2005 car.

"It was impossible for us to develop the 2004 car and build the 2005 machine, so it was a decision we had to make sooner rather than later," explained Briatore. "We made the decision and I stopped the developments of the 2004 car because I believed it was still possible to finish second - and I messed up."

But despite the admission about the team's form last year, Briatore believes he may have the last laugh - because the extra development work should help the R25 steal the march on some of the team's opposition.

"Everybody will forget about last year if this car is competitive," added Briatore. "Then people will say we are geniuses. Nobody cares about the past - everybody only cares about the future."

Renault has high hopes that its R25 will be able to challenge for multiple race victories this year - but Briatore believes it would be foolish to forget just how much of an advantage Ferrari will be able to carry over from last season.

"I expect Ferrari to be strong, for sure," said Briatore, before cheekily suggesting that the Italian team's absence from recent team bosses' meetings may have made some of his opposition forget about their threat.

"No one is thinking about Ferrari because we don't see them in the meetings and no-one thinks they are in F1 any more. But I am sure in Melbourne we will see them again - and this is the bad news."

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