Briatore Counts on Ferrari Help in WC

Renault's managing director Flavio Briatore is counting on Ferrari to help his team win this year's World Championship - by taking points away from their main rivals McLaren

Briatore Counts on Ferrari Help in WC

Renault are leading the Constructors' Championship standings with 76 points, ahead of McLaren's 53 points. Fernando Alonso has an even bigger advantage in the Drivers' Championshiop: the Spaniard leads with 59 points, ahead of McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen, with 27 points.

But Briatore said he expects the field to be more equal as Formula One arrives in Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix.

"There are no more tracks suited to Ferrari or Renault," Briatore told Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport. "Everyone will play on equal footing wherever. In theory we should do well in Montreal, but who can say? I'd be happy to come back from North America with the same points advantage we have today."

Briatore estimated last month that Alonso would be able to seal the Championship if he won at least six races this season. With four wins already in his bag, Briatore remained confident that his team would win the title.

"We are within my plans," Briatore said, "but I expected Ferrari to be stronger and taking away points from McLaren. They can still do it, helping us even if they don't want to. But McLaren, besides the problem at Nurburgring, remain very strong. Maybe it's supposed to be seven victories, after which we'll play defense to save our advantage."

The Italian went on to state that Alonso has already proven his ability in driving conservatively, rather than attacking for wins.

"He's already done so in Monte Carlo, where he got a fourth place which will be precious in the long run," Briatore told the newspaper. "He was doing that in Germany too, where he knew Raikkonen's tyres would have failed."

Briatore, who lead Benetton with Michael Schumacher to consecutive World Championship wins in 1994 and 1995, also praised Alonso's race control, stating the Spaniard is better than his nemesis Raikkonen in the races - but giving the nod to the Finn when it comes to qualifying.

"Fernando knows how to manage races better than Kimi," Briatore said. "He knows how to read the race earlier. They have the same speed, but in qualifying Raikkonen has something more than Fernando."

As for comparing Renault with McLaren, Briatore said the Mercedes holds an advantage, but promised Renault would make up for that deficit.

Asked what advantage Renault have over McLaren, Briatore replied: "An exceptional drivers package. But since the Spanish GP Mercedes have an engine with 20 horsepower more which our technicians at Viry Chatillon are trying to catch up to.

"But we have 32 points more than them."

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Series Formula 1
Teams Ferrari
Author Michele Lostia
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