Monte Carlo, Wednesday: Former F1 team owner and BBC TV pundit Eddie Jordan has led tributes to departing Renault team principal Flavio Briatore, after the Italian was handed an effective lifetime ban from FIA-sanctioned motorsport on Monday.
Briatore was not a popular figure amongst many members of the F1 fraternity, and the whooping and hollering over his removal from Formula One has been widespread over the last few days. Jordan, however, took the time to pay tribute to his former rival.
“Flavio was a real bastard, wasn’t he?” Jordan began after accosting several nearby members of the press. “I mean, remember how he nicked Michael Schumacher from under my nose back in 1991. That was truly disgraceful. Michael was all set for a career of alarming mediocrity just like everybody else who’s ever driven for me, and then Flavio comes along and puts him straight on the path to seven world championships. It ruined Michael’s career. Disgusting.”
Jordan also offered his opinion on how Renault should have handled the case of Nelson Piquet’s deliberate crash in the Singapore Grand Prix, rather predictably termed “Crashgate:” “If I were Renault I would have sacked everyone immediately. The whole team. Not that I ever did anything like that when I was a team boss, but standing here on the sidelines with no idea about how any of it works I can say with complete confidence that under my leadership, everyone would be fired.”
Our reporters contacted Briatore for a response, which he was happy to give. “Min, Eddie is, you know, not the understanding of having about the Formula One, hmmm?
“Like, differences be things about what, min, you like-a the changes in the whole, hmmm, is sport. But is not sport, is glamour, is entertainment, is crashing on purpose to gain an unfair advantage over your rivals. For sure?”