APRIL 28, 2017
Briatore backs Alonso's Indy 500 challenge
It is a no-brainer for Fernando Alonso to do the Indy 500 next month instead of Monaco.
That is the view of Flavio Briatore, who is still involved in the management of the Spaniard's career.
Alonso stunned the racing world recently when he announced that he will try to win the fabled American oval race rather than push for mere points in Monaco.
"I'll go to Indianapolis with him," Briatore, Alonso's former Renault boss, told Italy's Sky Sport 24.
"The biggest question for him is security, with all those people coming at him in the box," the Italian added.
"Fernando knows Monte Carlo well, but to race with the machine he has now gives him zero chance of winning. For him it would be like going there to be a tourist.
"And with a car that does not even go out of the garage it was decided that he shouldn't break his balls any more. He wanted to do Le Mans two years ago but Ron Dennis didn't let him.
"Now there's different people -- it's another McLaren," Briatore added.
Almost three years ago, Briatore backed Alonso's decision to leave Ferrari, but the flamboyant Italian now admits he is surprised the Italian team is so competitive in 2017.
"They surprised everyone," he said.
"I thought everyone betting on Ferrari would lose their money, but it's great to have a championship with a Mercedes-Ferrari fight.
"Mercedes still has an advantage, but it's not huge," Briatore added. "The pressure applied by Ferrari caused them to make errors, so if Ferrari can now develop the car, it is likely that at least Vettel will fight for the title."