Briatore Feels Relief after Pressure

Renault boss Flavio Briatore has admitted that the pressure of the world title fight was getting to him before the Brazilian Grand Prix - because his team had such an advantage in the points' standings

Briatore Feels Relief after Pressure

Briatore had to take a short toilet break in the closing stages of the Interlagos event as Alonso closed in the crown - and after the race he claimed there was more stress on him and the team because they had been title favourites for so long.

"It was only for us a possibility to lose the championship, because everyone has been congratulating me all the time for ages," said Briatore. "I mean, that is bad luck as well. If you lose it then, it would be terrible.

"But in the end this is good news for me, the team and Fernando. We have pressure all the time by being in Formula One. I have been in this business for 15 years and there is pressure all the time, but I am happy."

Although Briatore's latest success with Alonso has drawn many comparisons with the way he helped Michael Schumacher take world titles at Benetton in 1994 and 1995, the flamboyant Italian insists that the circumstances were completely different this time around.

"Michael in 1994 was very hard because it went to one point," he said. "This one we have had a good advantage, we had a very good start to the season and a good advantage.

"The first part of the season we were very, very competitive, the second part of the season McLaren were very, very competitive, but we did enough to win the championship, anyway."

And Briatore is under no illusions about how difficult it will be for his team to defend the title next year - especially because he expects Schumacher and Ferrari to return to form.

"Yes, this year was a hard fight between (Kimi) Raikkonen and Fernando, fighting like that it is fantastic for Formula One," he said. "I am sure next year we will have Michael as well and we have everybody.

"I have really, really enjoyed this year. We have done an incredible job after four years of Renault, it is great."

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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