Briatore Declines Comparisons with Benetton Days

Flavio Briatore declined to draw any comparisons with his former team Benetton and their Championship achievements in 1994 and 1995.

Briatore Declines Comparisons with Benetton Days

Flavio Briatore declined to draw any comparisons with his former team Benetton and their Championship achievements in 1994 and 1995.

As the Albert Park organisers celebrated the 10th birthday of their event, the empty champagne bottles and barbecue remains testified that Briatore and the Renault team had enjoyed a great Australian Grand Prix following their one-three finish.

Despite the obvious similarities in mood, team spirit, youthfulness and sheer vibrancy that could be seen, Briatore refused to draw comparisons to the Benetton years, when Michael Schumacher was seen as the coming man and the team won two drivers' titles in a row.

"I don't want to talk of any comparisons, none at all," said Briatore. "This is a new team, new time. This is Renault. Of course, we are delighted with this result because it is great for the team. It is great for the drivers and for everyone back at the base. But it is only the start, it is only one race."

Not all around him were convinced.

After seeing Italian Giancarlo Fisichella and Spaniard Fernando Alonso romp home first and third, sandwiching Brazilian Rubens Barrichello of Ferrari, some close observers were convinced they had seen the champions-elect.

This feeling was endorsed when Renault team insiders made it clear that not only were they delighted with the performance of their sleek and speedy car but that they knew there was more to come.

One even suggested that the team had been 'sand-bagging' during pre-season testing and had run with heavy fuel loads to hide the huge potential of the R25.

"We just didn't want other people to know how good it was," they said.

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