Briatore turns on acid tongue in Melbourne

Mon, 19 March 2007, 11:04

Flavio Briatore turned on an acid tongue in critique of the Australian grand prix.

The flamboyant Renault boss took no prisoners as he lambasted wayward backmarkers and unswervingly assessed the dubious performances of Renault and team rookie Heikki Kovalainen at Albert Park.

Referring to slower rivals who according to Briatore “ignore” blue flags, Italian Briatore told reporters: “You need the rifle to get these guys moving.

“I hope the Federation is doing something.”

His sentiment was backed by drivers including Lewis Hamilton and, in an unusually critical tone, Kimi Raikkonen.

But Briatore also took a metaphorical rifle to Kovalainen, after the Finn endured a mistake-riddled formula one debut in the boots of departed world champion Fernando Alonso.

“Everybody saw it on TV, there’s no point trying to defend him,” Renault’s team boss is quoted as saying by the Spanish news agency EFE.

Briatore’s mood was undoubtedly coloured by the fact that, somewhat surprisingly to the French squad, Renault was outperformed not only by Ferrari and McLaren in Australia but also the BMW Sauber camp.

Still referring to Kovalainen, he continued: “If I said he did a good job, I would be a complete idiot.”

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