Honda F1 website

SEPTEMBER 23, 2004

A very telling little outburst

Flavio Briatore pulled out his six guns during the FIA Press Conference on Thursday in Shanghai and began blasting away when asked to talk about the problems facing the sport, notably the withdrawal of the Ford Motor Company and the threat that poses to no fewer than three of the 10 existing teams.

The Italian promptly shot himself in the foot.

"Instead of being enthusiastic to come to this place, where the people have made a lot of effort to prepare for an incredible race, you guys try to turn things around as usual for no reason," Briatore ranted. "Really. I'm not prepared to answer any questions because I don't like a press conference like this, only talking about the problems for Formula 1. Everybody has problems, not only in these areas. We need to resolve our problems. If somebody makes a $300m or $400m investment in Formula 1, I think this is very positive for Formula 1, but you guys only like to look at the bad things. There's a lot of jealousy and you guys are part of that jealousy. I think this press conference is completely disgusting."

The F1 media is impressed by China and the last few days have seen a torrent of articles praising the Chinese although clearly Briatore has not actually read them nor been briefed properly. His charmless remarks serve only to strengthen the belief that some of the team bosses have so little grasp of reality that they do not understand that while they are fighting over their vested interests, the majority of the people who work in F1 are now more than a little worried about their future.

It is perhaps worth noting that the best way to avoid having to answer difficult questions about F1 would be to find a solution to the problems.