Briatore predicts ’07 struggle for F1 rivals

Thu, 4 January 2007, 07:22

Flavio Briatore is predicting a difficult season for Renault’s main F1 rivals; McLaren and Ferrari.

Despite his French squad’s loss of back to back world champion Fernando Alonso to bitter enemy Ron Dennis, 56-year-old Briatore said McLaren should nonetheless expect a “tough” 2007.

The Mercedes-powered team rarely failed to win a single grand prix with Kimi Raikkonen at the wheel this year, and Briatore doubts that his former protegé, Alonso, is a silver bullet.

The Italian told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “(McLaren) always have fantastic drivers, but this year their book of excuses has come to the last page.”

Raikkonen, meanwhile, has moved to Ferrari, but Briatore questioned whether the Finn will be an adequate plug for the huge hole left by Michael Schumacher and the similarly departed technical director Ross Brawn.

“Ferrari without Schumacher and Brawn will be less competitive,” he predicted.

“That’s normal when you lose people like them.”


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