Briatore ponders what might have been
20 April 2009 – Flavio Briatore was in a positive but disappointed mood after Sunday's results. Fernando Alonso qualified for the front row of the grid in China for the first time since Barcelona last year, but the Spanish driver's race was seriously comprised on lap seven as he pitted immediately before the safety car peeled off.
With the team believing the safety car would remain circulating for a greater number of laps, the heavier fuelled Renault struggled to make an impression initially, before eventually rising through the field to finish ninth. "Double victory for the wrong two cars!," teased team principal Briatore of the victorious Renault-powered Red Bulls. "No, I'm happy for Red Bull and I'm happy for the engine, but we were very unlucky with Renault. Fernando was really, really unlucky; the safety car destroyed our race. Maybe we called him in a little bit too early.
The Italian, who has recently hit out at the Brawn team with regards to their share of TV rights money, also appeared to be critical towards the team's second driver, Nelson Piquet. "Jesus Christ! It was a very, very bad race," Briatore continued. "I understand it if you spin once, but this was kind of a contest for 'the more you spin, the more points'. He needs a normal race, but this is just the beginning of the season - at least we have a really good car now."