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Briatore Unhappy with FIA Call

Renault boss Flavio Briatore believes that a wrong call by the FIA had more to do with helping McLaren win the Japanese Grand Prix than bad driving by Giancarlo Fisichella

Fisichella did not have the pace needed to hold off the charging Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap, having lost momentum by being too defensive through the chicane - but Briatore claims his team's efforts had been hurt much more earlier in the race.

That was when Fernando Alonso had to slow down to let Christian Klien re-pass him for the second time after he had run across the chicane - a decision that cost the team vital seconds.

"Of course I believed we could win," said Briatore on Italian television. "When you are in front on the last lap after being in front for the entire race (it is obvious).

"But the biggest problem we had was when the Race Director got Klien in front of us after we passed him in a normal way

"Alonso jumped the chicane, let him through, passed him again and they made us go back - making us lose those seven-eight seconds which were enough to go back behind Michael (Schumacher) and to come out of the pitstop behind Raikkonen. If we came out of the pitstop in front of Raikkonen it would have been it."

Despite the disappointment of losing out on the win, Briatore knows that the entertaining race was good for both the public and his team's Constructors' Championship chances - with Renault now holding a two-point lead over McLaren.

"To fight for the Championship like this was good for the public," he added. "I think a race like this was enjoyable for everybody. F1 fans can't say they got bored: they saw lots of passes, they saw everything. Unfortunately we saw one at the end that I didn't like.

"China is close, in three days we'll be there. We'll see what happens: we are putting something new in the car and we pushed to the end. For the moment we keep the championship alive. This is a favour to Bernie too, who asked me not to win it here, so everyone's happy."

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