Briatore Hits Back at Team Orders Claim

Renault boss Flavio Briatore has hit back at accusations his team used illegal team orders at the Turkish Grand Prix

Briatore Hits Back at Team Orders Claim

McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa claimed that Renault broke the team orders ban in Istanbul when Fernando Alonso eased his way past teammate Giancarlo Fisichella in the early stages of the race.

But speaking ahead of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, Briatore insisted that there was nothing sinister - especially because the radio conversation between Alonso and his team telling him to overtake was broadcast live on television.

"If others think they need to try and pressure us by saying that, then it is a good sign, but it doesn't bother us," said Briatore. "I am surprised nobody has asked why viewers heard those comments on live TV?

"The answer is that our team doesn't believe in unnecessary secrecy, and we have nothing to hide."

Briatore acknowledges that Fisichella did not make it hard for Alonso to get past him - but that was only because his two drivers are working together.

"Giancarlo is a team player. He had problems with his tyres in the first laps, and Fernando was faster - something we told Fisico over the radio. So when Fernando got alongside him, he didn't fight his teammate. It is not about team orders, it is about working as a team."

Although McLaren appear to have a better package at the moment, Briatore is comfortable with his team's position in the Championship fight - and says he has no worries about not winning any of the remaining races this year.

"We have already shown we can do that this year, with both drivers," he said. "Our sport is not about dominating at one moment or another, but about scoring points progressively through the season. As far as I know, the driver who wins the Championship is still the man with the most points at the end, and nothing else."

Speaking about the slender advantage his team have over McLaren in the Constructors' Championship, Briatore said: "Things are much closer with only a nine point gap, but I am still confident. McLaren are the ones who need to take risks and attack all the time. Let's see how the next races unfold..."

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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