Can FOTA calm Briatore down?

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If you have followed the antics of Renault’s Flavio Briatore over the past week, you’ll know that he has had a semi-meltdown over Brawn GP. Apparently Toyota and Williams F1 are fine but Brawn GP has really raised his dander. He has taken aim at the drivers and Ross for many issues and his anger is seething. Apparently FOTA has called for a meeting in bahrain to settle things down a bit according to Martin Whitmarsh and Ross Brawn.

Apr.20 (GMM) The FOTA meeting that could cost the Brawn team up to 30 million euros has been scheduled for May 6, the week of the Spanish grand prix.

Furious about the diffuser saga, Flavio Briatore – FOTA’s commercial chief – will propose at the meeting that Brawn GP not receive any of the sport’s TV or travel revenue for at least three years.

“I don’t want to be Robin Hood,” the Spanish press quotes the Renault boss as saying, “but I do not have money in my budget for a diffuser and I cannot finish the season a second behind Brawn.

“I believe the distribution of the money must be reviewed,” Briatore said.

Briatore also said in Shanghai last weekend that he will move to oust Ross Brawn as head of FOTA’s technical committee.

The German news agency SID reports that 70 per cent of the teams would have to agree that money due to the Honda team in 2009 be paid to the new Brawn guise.

Ross Brawn was reluctant to comment.

“I’m not going to respond. It’s a shame that he brings those things into the public arena as they’re FOTA business, but that’s his style. I’d rather not talk about it,” he said.

Source GMM

Martin said:

“At the moment we’ve undertaken as a team to support Brawn,” he said. “Clearly, there’s a lot of support given by this team and Mercedes during the winter because we saw the importance of keeping Brawn in F1.

“It would now be hypocritical, because it happens to be painful for us because they’re competitive to not want to give them a proportion of the distribution under Concorde.”

He added: “We need some calmness within FOTA – there’s a FOTA meeting called for after Bahrain and we need to calm down.

“As a team, we’ve generally stayed out of it because we can see the potential for causing a lot of flamboyant gestures. The world is in an economic crisis, the automotive sector is going through a tough time and what F1 should be doing is acting responsibly, remaining calm, making sure we work together and that’s certainly our view.

“We’ve said that we support Brawn. We’ve said that we’re going to, in that they’re considered a new entry, distribute Concorde monies to them, and we should do what we said we were going to do.”

Mercedes-Benz motorsport boss Norbert Haug believes Briatore had to share some of the criticism about the rules himself – as teams themselves had left loopholes in the regulations for teams to exploit.

“If they got a different interpretation of the rules we need to question ourselves – did we all influence the rules in the right way, were they written in the correct way and that is what we need to discuss in the future,” said Haug.

“I can understand Flavio’s position. But being self-critical, were the rules written precisely enough? Is that only an FIA issue? For me, clearly it is not only an FIA issue. It’s an issue of everybody involved.

“You need to be as precise as you can possibly be, which is not an easy one. But we need to be critical on these issues. Of course, you get more support if you are a team in the middle of the field than you get when you are winning.

“You know the old phrase – at the first win everyone comes and congratulates you, at the second time they hit on you! We experience that, it’s normal. It’s a competitive environment.”

Source Autosport


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