Briatore: Renault in a Different Class

Renault boss Flavio Briatore boasted that his French team were in a class of their own after Fernando Alonso's smooth victory in Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix

Briatore: Renault in a Different Class

Alonso's teammate Giancarlo Fisichella won the season-opening race in Melbourne and was running third in Sepang until a collision with Australia's Mark Webber ended his challenge.

"It was a big effort from the Renault team and it was fantastic in the way we won in Australia with Fisichella and in Malaysia by Fernando," said a champagne-soaked Briatore. "Two drivers in two races. It's fantastic for the team. It's fantastic for everybody."

While Renault kept up their early-season charge for a first Constructors' Championship, Ferrari's misery continued in Sepang. World Champion Michael Schumacher was a distant seventh and Rubens Barrichello failed to finish.

Jarno Trulli finished second behind Alonso to give Japanese manufacturer Toyota their first podium finish after three years and more than 50 Formula One starts.

"I don't see the opposition honestly because the opposition we had in Australia was Red Bull...the opposition we had here was Toyota," said Briatore. "Really I think people should think about the other opposition at the moment. For the moment really we don't see any serious opposition."

The Italian added: "Fernando had no competition today and Fisichella in Australia had no competition."

Briatore defended Alonso's record after the Spaniard ended his wait for a second victory following his win in Hungary two years ago.

"When people tell me Fernando's not so good I really don't understand," said Briatore. "I think Fernando did an incredible job in six or seven races last year. We just didn't have a car to win. Now the situation is a little better - two races, two wins."

Ferrari, who won 15 of 18 races last season, have been running a modified version of last year's car and could now unwrap their new F2005 in the next race in Bahrain on April 4.

"It means we are putting them under some pressure," said Briatore. "I will be very happy if they have the car all ready for Bahrain."

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