Alonso praises Briatore after podium

Earlier in the weekend Fernando Alonso was doing everything he could to rebuff questions about the scandal he and Renault were embroiled in.

But having taken a fine and controversy-free third place at Singapore, Alonso decided to dedicate his podium to the pariah of the paddock, Flavio Briatore:

I dedicate this podium to Flavio – he is at home but he is part of the success we had today.
Fernando Alonso

He was also part of the success they had at this race last year. It’s as a clear a statement you could ask for that Alonso is utterly unrepentant about the way he benefitted from Nelson Piquet Jnr crashing last year on Briatore’s orders.

Will Renault’s new management choose to distance themselves from his remarks? Is this a sign Alonso is on his way out of Renault and doesn’t care what they think about him? Have your say in the comments.

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133 comments on Alonso praises Briatore after podium

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  1. Well, he was part of the success they had today. Saying so wasn’t very politically correct, but it is true nonetheless.

    Alonso had Briatore for a manager, and they together won two WDCs and worked together many years. I’m sure the bond is strong. We saw the same thing with Webber: he said if he couldn’t have Briatore he didn’t want anyone. I can understand that loyalty.

    • Bartholomew said on 27th September 2009, 18:21

      I think what Alonso said was OK. He gets into the car and drives as fast as he can, and thats all he knows how to do. He drove fast in Singapore in 2008 and now again in 2009.
      Flavio has been good to him, and he says so – this is basic loyalty and friendship

      • True enough. It’s also worth pointing out that Webber paid tribute to Briatore in his press conference on Thursday, but there were no cries of outrage then.

        Sorry Keith, you know I admire your work, but this is a hit piece and nothing more. Come on, you’re better than this.

        • Listening to Flavio’s supporters they have nothing but good to say about him.

          Honest, hard but also fair…Webber in particular mentioned how good Flavio was to him, in an interview from Singapore.
          Yet I see no poison darts being fired his way.

          As Red Andy has pointed out, this is nothing more than mock raking…Have you been employed by The Mirror??? Tabloid at best!
          Keith if you have nothing worthy of writing about then don’t write anything.

    • Achilles said on 28th September 2009, 6:46

      For me Briatore should have done the Ron Dennis thing, and held his hand up, by not doing so his stance was weak, Alonso should count his blessings that he got away with it again, I wonder what troubles his prescence at Ferrari will bring? Alonso seems to be a bit of a pariah for a team, Renault need to clean up, Alonso leaving will help…

  2. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th September 2009, 16:17

    Apparently Jean-Francois Caubert, the new Renault managing director, has said the team will miss Alonso next year. More confirmation he’s leaving…

    • Bigbadderboom said on 27th September 2009, 18:06

      As is Alonso’s statement in respect of not towing the company line in being apologetic and regretful for their associated actions last year.

      • Bigbadderboom said on 27th September 2009, 18:08

        Oh and I lved Martin Brundells comment about Teflonso, I couldn’t believe he actually said that!!!!:)

        • Ned Flanders said on 27th September 2009, 22:30

          I heard him say that but I thought perhaps he had just mispronounced Alonsoor something. Brundle is the man! No wonder Alonso never seems to speak to him on the grid…

          • Williams4ever said on 28th September 2009, 0:13

            No wonder Alonso never seems to speak to him on the grid…

            For the record in days of ITV Brundle was shooed away by everyone on the grid.. He is getting better treatment only in BBC days.
            I remember how Brundle ended up looking an Oaf countless number of times till last year

    • Yeah Keith, i heard it on TF1, and it sounded more like ‘if he leaves he will be missed, and Renault will always be home for Alonso.’ not as clear cut statement that he will leave next year as it has been miss translated in the Main Stream Press…

  3. Steve_P said on 27th September 2009, 16:18

    I just commented about this on a diff post. Alonso really is not showing any remorse. I don’t think he’s doing the team any good at all making those comments. I seriously don’t want Ferrari to hire him. He is a talented driver, but he seriously lacks character!

    • El Nano said on 27th September 2009, 16:21

      They have won 2 championships together, ever heard of loyalty?

      • Richard S said on 27th September 2009, 16:29

        Surely Alonso is showing character by not caving into the majority opinion. If he owes so much to Briatore, then it would be wrong to deny it no matter what.

        • Exactly. Thats saying something other than “yea I had a good set up, my tiers were good, we had a good first stint, yadda yadda…”.

      • …….mmmm mmmm…perhaps you really mean that quaint old idea that there is honour among thieves.

        Clearly so true in this case eh ?

      • Exactly… apparently he hasn’t even heard of loyalty. It wasn’t just Alonso and Flav building a car in the back of Flav’s garage, the TEAM and Alonso won those championships together. By making that comment at this time and at this race, its a complete slap in the face to everyone else on his TEAM. I’m not saying he can’t have some loyalty to Flav too. If he wanted to show loyalty to both his former manager/team boss and the entire team of people who helped him win those championships he would have just kept silent on that issue. Praising a guy who conspired to risk the lives of the other drivers in the field, the spectators, the track marshals, etc. so that you would have a chance to win a race in a year where that win was essentially meaningless is not something worthy of praise. The Renault team wants to move forward, but things like this keep dragging it back. This was an incredibly disloyal thing to do to the TEAM that has paid him very well, designed and built two cars that won him world championships, and continues to provide him with the opportunity to reach the podium. I hope Ferrari knows what they’re getting into. Why would anyone expect him to be loyal to them when he’s showing such a complete lack of loyalty to his long-time team?

    • he has nothing to be remorseful about, he did nothing wrong last year, others did and has nothing to be repentant about.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th September 2009, 18:27

        He won a race because his team mate was ordered to crash to help him. Of course he has something to feel bad about, and of course he should say he doesn’t approve of that sort of thing.

        I don’t expect drivers to be saints. I don’t expect them to be role models.

        But I do expect them to have the barest modicum of integrity, that they would be appalled by the idea that their team mate would be asked to risk themselves and others by crashing to help them win a race.

        And I don’t care if they’re Fernando Alonso or Lewis Hamilton or Michael Schumacher.

        • You clearly do though.

        • Alonso giving up the win voluntarily would bring disrepute to F1. Secondly it was Renault that won the race, they as a team should state they don’t want the win.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th September 2009, 19:10

            Why do you think it would bring disrepute to F1? It’s obviously a tainted win.

          • mp4-19b said on 27th September 2009, 19:24

            By giving up that tainted win, Alonso would have done himself some serious favor. It would have sky-rocketed his image. Respect for him around the world would have increased 10 folds. But he choose not to & to make matters worse, he praises & dedicates his podium to the man who brought this sport into disrespute. Flavi might have been a great man & stuff, but it was hardly the time to be praising him. Maybe after things had settled down yes! But not now, when tempers are as hot as the Red Bull brake discs.

          • Bigbadderboom said on 27th September 2009, 20:07

            Alonso missed an opportunity for some positive PR not only for himself or Renault but also for the sport which rewards him so handsomely. I don’t want characterless drivers with no fight or spirit but respect for the supporters and fans has to come first.

          • You have to put yourself in Alonso’s position and think, what is the right thing to do here.

            If it were me, I would say my win is tainted, keep the result anyway, and donate my winnings to charity.

            It seems like the decent thing to do, and instead he dedicates his podium to a man that has just been given a life ban from F1. Very poor form IMHO

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th September 2009, 22:16

            John H – that’s exactly my point.

        • Is witness ‘x’ the even a real person?
          Or Mad Max alter ego?

  4. Mahir C said on 27th September 2009, 16:29

    So it is apparent that Alonso is off to Ferrari. Does this mean Raikonenn to Mclaren, heard from Legard and Brundle that one Fin is leaving and another is joining, and they were chatting about how Kimi and Lewis will get on.

  5. steph90 said on 27th September 2009, 17:01

    Don’t see anything wrong with what fernando said, may have lacked taste but he was right. He owes a lot to Briatore anyway, yes this is bad case recently but doesn’t mean we should white wash him from f1 history.

    • A very mature perspective.

      Unfortunately not many see things from this point of view. How many people here have had a personal relationship with Briatore that they can judge his character. Every day reading some comments on here, I am reminded of how adulterers are stoned as sinners in some Islamic states.

      • It’s not mature just because it agrees with your perspective you know.

        I personally think he should have acknowledged that in some way at least his 2008 win was actually manufactured.

        Now i’d be very interested to know if you think that is an ‘immature perspective’ in your opinion?

        • Bigbadderboom said on 27th September 2009, 22:21

          I agree John, how is it mature to acknowledge a friends input to your career but deny the consequences of their guilt, in what is probably one of the biggest scandals to hit any sport. Not saying he should publicly condemn Bratorie but he should accept that his win was manufactured or fixed, not insist that he felt it was rightly won.

        • Oliver said on 28th September 2009, 8:01

          We are talking about his comments at the press conference, and by the way, you don’t know all that happened last year so just be patient and watch as things develop

      • Yep..well said.
        It seems like most people here if there friend fell on hard times, they would kick them to the curb so as not to tarnish their own image.
        And because they would do this they expect everyone to have the same weak character trait.
        I have seem drug dealers and murders get less of a public linching than the innocent Alonso is getting!

        And now we Have PK snr in the press claiming it was Alonso that Manages Renault…
        Time to ban PK Snr along with J Stewart and N Lauder from any more public comments PLEASE!

    • I have to agree. I don see why someone should repent something they havent done.. He benefitted from the situation that aroused out of the crash for sure.. but he never was the mastermind behind it nor did he know about it then. he went out there as he would in every other race and drove his heart out and he found himself at the top at the end of the race and i don think there is any need for him to be remorseful for tat. If anyone had to be remorseful i think it would be the team as a whole and not an individual. When a driver wins its not just that individual.. whatever happened to everyone who said it was a team sport.. Its a team victory too when a driver wins and as a team i think renault has been very remorseful of what happened and they’ve paid/paying for it thought not so much as we would have expected. But you get the point.

      • How does that make sense? Just because he didn’t know about it at the time doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t feel bad about it! Remember Barichello moving over for Schumacher and Schumacher giving the trophy to Rubens on the podium? He obviously felt bad about being given the win!

        • feeling bad and repentant are different things though aren’t they? He should only be repentant if he had actually done something wrong, which he hasn’t. He could have avoided the whole sordid affair in the press conference, and was given the chance by the interviewer, but choose to give his support to a man that was his friend, and had worked hard with other members for their past success. It’s called loyalty, and is considered a good quality in most circles. Mentioning Flav’s good points does not mean that he was condoning Flav’s actions. A few of Flav’s no ex drivers had kind words for him during the week for his skills as a manager. Does this mean they support what he did at Singapore? Of course not.

        • Oliver said on 28th September 2009, 8:03

          And how do you know Alonso doesn’t feel bad about it, have you asked him personally his feelings about it all?

          • Tbh I don’t doubt that he did feel bad about it, just look at the podium pics! He looked happier with his 3rd this year! :P

            But seriously, he hasn’t given off any kind of impression about feeling bad about it. I see what you’re getting at about them being different tho, that was just my poor english letting me down! When he defended his win however, I did find that a little distasteful, because I’m sure he wasn’t the only one with a good car who drove well that weekend, and he was gifted track position. But I’m getting off topic here.

            I just feel that its not the time to be talking about flav like that, he should let it all cool down a little first, give people time to think it over and tow the company line a little first. I agree that loyalty is a good thing, so maybe he should show some to his team eh?

          • Jay Menon said on 29th September 2009, 5:36

            Much talk about Fernando’s comments and decorum here.

            If I follow what most of you have said, does this mean that Nico Rosberg should renounce his 2nd place from last year? He too benefitted from the crash, so did everybody else who finished in the upper echelons of the points!. Fernando didnt have anything to do with the conspiracy, the team told him to drive, he drove, they tells him to pit, he pits. Thats what the strategists in the team get paid to do, Fernando gets paid to drive round the track.

            I find what Fernando said about Flavio very refreshing. We always see F1 drivers with their squeky clean PR driven non-commitent comments, but he’s gone out and said what he felt he had to say, he couldnt care less if the world hates him more…now thats character..call it pariah, immoral or whatever else, the man has a right to free speech.

            Although what Renault did were in general contradiction with the code of sportmanship as a whole, Flavio and Fernando are friends, a friendship that goes a long way back. Fernando would not have been where he is now without Flavio’s guidance..so the man stood up for his friend although he was in the wrong..haven’t any of us ever done that?

            The whole world is upset because Fernando didn’t say what we expected him to say. He spoke his mind, which is a rarity in all sports these days…that for me is character enough…Now you know why he doesn’t win as many fans as Lewis.

            Kudos to you Fernando

  6. Roberts said on 27th September 2009, 17:35

    and again, full of ham’s fanboys comments…
    pathetic…

    • nick_jp said on 27th September 2009, 17:57

      even Keith!

    • Bigbadderboom said on 27th September 2009, 18:11

      Are they not entitled to voice an opinion, I know a lot of them are biased ramblings, and some of the time actually factualy inaccurate, but they have a right to voice their support when their guy does well. And for the record Hamilton was the best driver with the best equipment today……end of story.

      • nick_jp said on 27th September 2009, 18:21

        i agree on fanboys giving opinions and making judgments, but i consider this post to be too biased against alonso. such judgements should not be made when writing in a… (well, at the end of the day this is just a blog!)

    • When you talk positive about someone who is driving very well, and is one of the best drivers in the world… that’s not fanboy talk it’s just reality!

      • Maverick_232 said on 30th September 2009, 0:54

        But clearly we are not allowed to congratulate Lewis no more. How dare we say he drove a faultless race from start to finish, managed both sets of tyres well and never let the 2 safety car periods effect him.

        You “Hamilton haters” are so pathetic. The guy is a terrific driver who does things that i personally have not seen in F1 for a long long time.

        And ill be honest, I cannot stand Fernando Alonso. Ive never liked him. Never have done, never will do. But i honestly believe that he is a bloody fantastic driver. Probably the best.

        So HHs, am i biased???

  7. It may not be fashionable to support Flavio at the moment but I do not begrudge Alonso in doing so as one should not disregard all Flavio’s contributions due to this error of judgement.

    I am however increasingly becoming weary off Alonso and hope that the investigative journalists are keeping an extremely close eye on him as I think its only a matter of time until he is found with his hand in the cookie jar…

  8. I don’t think he should be the one repenting as he was not the perpetrator. There is still something nice about saying thanks and supporting someone on a personal level even if they have done wrong and been dispatched.

    It does remind me however of the tinge of disappointment I had when Lewis Hamilton did not attend the Sports Industry event where Ron Dennis was honoured for his contributions to motorsport. I’m sure there was some reason for not attending, but, damn, it looked like an unnecessary snub to someone he owed his career and loyalty to.

  9. AlonsoFollower said on 27th September 2009, 17:48

    Picture this: Hamilton says anything positive about Ron Dennis . Which, if anyone remembers, quit McLaren, it is just honoring what the man, honest or dishonest, has made for his career.

    If Alonso says something positive about its former team director, it is just proving that he is pure evil and does not care about anything but himself.

    Admittedly, you could gauge the level of wrongness of Dennis and Briatore (Ferrari spying?) and conclude that the Italian is the worse of the two. And I’d probably agree. But to bash on someone that just acknowledges the contribution to victory, and an honest one, is simply being fanatically opposed to him.

    Cheers, Fernando, brilliant driving today.

    • Agreed, although I wonder why Hamilton is always brought up anytime something is said about Alonso, although you are not the only one guilty of such. Although it is hardly a crime. :-)

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th September 2009, 18:38

      Ron Dennis never instructed Hamilton’s team mate to crash to help him win a race. This comparison is meaningless and again, Hamilton is completely irrelevant to this discussion.

      • mp4-19b said on 27th September 2009, 18:49

        Ron is 25 years senior to Flav. He’s been in this business even before LDM, FW, patrick head & the others. he’s a legend in his own right. Very unfair of people to compare him with others.

        • Mosley called Ron a cheat and a liar, even though I feel that was trash from Mosley, its the same tag being associated with Briatore irrespective of the severity of their supposed actions.

          Even murderers and those on death row are still allowed visitors and friends, the fact an individual did wrong doesn’t make him an animal.

          By the way I don’t see Ron Dennis being any where close to being 80+ years old. :-)

          • mp4-19b said on 27th September 2009, 19:14

            Ron started off as a mechanic for Cooper in 1966, Flavio took over Benetton duties in 1988-89, obviously Dennis is a very senior man compared to Flavio & the rest.

        • Ron is 5 years older than Flav (I think), and as an expert in F1 history you should know that FW and PH were in F1 approximately 5 years before Ron. 1976 and 1981 respectively.

          • mp4-19b said on 27th September 2009, 19:47

            Perhaps you didn’t read my comment properly. I said Ron started off as a mechanic for Cooper Formula One team in 1966 he’s also worked for Sir jack Brahbam. but in the 70’s he set out to form his own F2 team (RONDEL Racing). Ron came back to F1 in 1980 to take over as mclaren CEO from the late Teddy Mayer, in the process merging his brainchild project4 & mayer’s Mclaren International.

            I don’t know why you seem to think that Frank Williams & Patrick head existed in f1 before Ron.

          • Frank Williams’ first foray into F1 was actually in 1969, running a Brabham for Piers Courage.

  10. Why are all lewis supporters all the same? You hate Lando because you know he is better :)

    • mp4-19b said on 27th September 2009, 18:04

      Yeah! Alonso is better, that’s why he got beaten fair & square in 07 by a rookie.

      • nick_jp said on 27th September 2009, 18:17

        you know LH was given preference over alonso, come on!

      • Neither driver beat the other, they are both equally talented. The fact Hamilton started in Mclaren and was immediately on the pace, just shows what is achievable by a driver who has full confidence in his ability. Alonso had that confidence also when he drove for Minardi but then the car was not capable of much.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th September 2009, 18:30

          Well said Oliver.

          • I quite agree (for once, Keith). MP4 for someone so impassioned by F1, you clearly have not had much of a look at the history books – even recent ones.

            They finished equal on points and wins, so no one beat anyone. In addition, each driver was hugely impressive that year. Hamilton as a rookie, albeit with a huge knowledge of McLaren’s inner workings (not to be underestimated) and Alonso as a driver in a new team up against a quick team mate.

            Both put in immense performances that year.

          • mp4-19b said on 27th September 2009, 18:46

            @ parkp

            I clearly know my f1 history better than most people here & certainly better than you.

            You *cough* “correctly” *cough* point out that they finished equal on points, but perhaps conveniently forgotten that Lewis had more second place finishes that Alonso, which in case of a tie plays a crucial role.

          • mp4-19b said on 27th September 2009, 18:55

            @ parkp( F1 historian)

            yeah, I know you don’t like my.. What was it again?? constant blathering ??

      • fair and square ?? remember hungary ?

      • I don’t think he did …did he????
        I thought they both finished with the same 109 points, and that is after Alonso being handicapped by his own team.

    • Bigbadderboom said on 27th September 2009, 18:12

      Find out nesy year I guess, personally theres not much in it for me, I think Hamilton is quicker but Alonso may be a more rounded driver due to his experience.

      • When things go wrong for Alonso, its normally down to a car problem, or a team error. Hamilton’s misfortunes normally come by his own mistakes.

    • I’m a hamilton fan but i don’t hate Fernando :)
      They are the 2 best in F1 at the moment (and vettel in there maybe).
      The most talented and the best car controle (you can see this when you see F1 in real life!)

  11. Alonso was honestly expressing his gratitude. No single act how ever hideous can take away the fact that Flavio was instrumental in Renault’s and Alonso’s success in 05 and 06.

    I salute Alonso for stepping out of the mob mentality that Flavio is an evil man and deserves no respect. Flavio’s contribution to the sport is immense and even his disrespectful exit cant take that away from the man.

  12. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th September 2009, 18:36

    Here’s Joe Saward’s take:

    Alonso’s supporting words for Briatore might be judged by some to have brought the sport into disrepute, but that is not something for anyone other than the FIA to judge. However, the fact that Renault will be less than pleased about Alonso’s remarks, tells us a lot. Clearly the Spaniard feels more loyalty towards Briatore than he does for his current employer and, that being the case, it is fairly clear that he is not intending to stay at Enstone…

    Fernando is off to Ferrari.

  13. it is just a fight between alonso and hamilton fans. But one shall not forget the 2007 and 2008 seasons are much more exciting compare to this year’s lack of competition between BGP and RB. I hope all good drivers will have a good car next year so we can have more actions….

  14. Steph90 said on 27th September 2009, 19:04

    I don’t understand why my comment is waiting for moderation; I wasn’t racist or mean, I even put a smiley and just saying what FIA found. But of course I sincerely apologise if I have caused any offence and would never mean to do such a thing ever esp not on this site.
    I think Fernado was being loyal to Flav, I’m sure he did thank the team. Interesting insight from Saward though Fernando to Ferrari story is more like piecing clues together now to confirm rather than breaking news :P

  15. steph90 said on 27th September 2009, 19:13

    It’s a see saw between Hamiltona and Alonso with fans, hate one love the other generally. I do quite like it but it can get out of hand, but just shows passions of F1 and drivers of this class. It’s a tiny bit like with Senna and Prost and all the other great rivalries. Truth is why people get so annoyed is thaat whoever they support they probably recognise the other to be as talented/strong and therefore a threat. A bit like Mclaren and Ferrari regard each other as the best and so more than anything they want to beat each other.

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