Briatore Happy with Renault's Budget

Renault team chief Flavio Briatore believes the French squad would not do any better if they had a bigger budget

Briatore Happy with Renault's Budget

Briatore, who says teams like Ferrari, Toyota, or McLaren spend 20 percent more money than Renault, reckons his team wouldn't know where to spend the extra cash if they had it.

"Those three teams have a budget at their disposal which is at least 20 percent larger than ours, but I'm not complaining," Briatore told Autosprint in an interview. "On the contrary, if Renault tomorrow was to give me a 30 million dollars extra budget, I'd tell them I wouldn't know how to use it.

"I don't think money is proportional to laptimes. In other words, it's not true that the more money you have, the faster you go. This year our stated objective was second place in the Drivers' Championship, and our budget was planned for that.

"We are doing beyond all expectations but we don't need anything else to improve our performance."

Renault driver Fernando Alonso is on the verge of clinching the drivers' title, while the French team are leading the constructors' standings ahead of McLaren, winners of the last four races with the fastest car on the grid.

Renault have benefited from McLaren's reliability problems, although Briatore reckons playing safely has meant the French squad have weaknesses in terms of performance, namely the engine.

"Undoubtedly the engine [is the main weakness]," he said. "Ours weighs 15 kilos more compared to the best from our competitors and has 40 horsepower less. Despite that, we are leading both Championships.

"Since we are unable to fight through sheer performance, we played the reliability card and, in the end, it turned out to be the right choice."

Engine regulations, however, will change for next season, and although Renault are the only top team yet to test their V8 engine on track, Briatore is confident the new regulations will play in Renault's favour.

"I think this demonstrates shrewd management," Briatore said of not having yet tested the V8 on track. "Building a hybrid car to start testing a V8 engine is useless. We have been running a V8 unit on the test bench for a while and we can see everything we need, without having to go on track.

"With the latest generation test benches you have all the possible results, and you can even simulate the various race tracks. What's the use in building an intermediate car to test what you can do on the test bench without moving people and equipment?

"Maybe to show to the media that your team is reacting to current difficulties? Thanks, but that's not the case for us.

"When the championship is over, at most we'll do two testing sessions with the V8 unit installed on a current chassis, just to test the overall engineering. But the new engine will come with the new car.

"In fact, with the new regulations I'm even more confident. That's because Renault came back to F1 in 2001, when the other constructors had already gained lots of experience. With the new V8, instead, we'll be level with the others.

"We'll all start the same, with a blank sheet and we won't have the power and weight handicap we've had these years."

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Series Formula 1
Teams Renault F1 Team
Author Michele Lostia
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