Briatore Refrains from Blaming Fisichella

Flavio Briatore refrained from criticising Giancarlo Fisichella for losing the lead of the Japanese Grand Prix on the final lap - even though the Renault boss was far from happy about seeing victory slip through his team's fingers

Fisichella had looked set to be cruising to his second win of the season in the middle stages of the race before Raikkonen managed to push himself into contention with a series of quick laps prior to his final pitstop.

And after being closed down by his McLaren rival in the closing stages of the race, Fisichella played it too defensive out of the chicane on the penultimate lap to allow Raikkonen to get a run on him across the start-finish line.

In the end, the Renault driver could then do little to resist Raikkonen sweeping past him on the final lap for a victory that McLaren chief Ron Dennis hailed as the best of his driver's career.

But despite Briatore appearing furious immediately after the race, the flamboyant Italian has chosen to take a diplomatic view of Fisichella's driving.

"The last lap happened, and it is good for Formula One," said Briatore. "In the end it is a good race for Formula One, a good race for the spectators, and we need every race like that.

"Fisichella was very correct and that happens."

When asked whether he wished Fisichella had driven 'less correct' in a bid to keep Raikkonen behind him, Briatore responded: "No, absolutely not.

"For sure it is painful. I am not saying I am happy, but it happens. I was surprised to have Kimi overtake us in those circumstances.

"But in the end Kimi deserved it. It was a good fight and we enjoyed it."

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