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Formula 1 News - April, 2009
New pecking order leaves F1 without credibility

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Apr.17 (GMM) A furious Flavio Briatore in Shanghai accused F1's governing body of tempting another fatality by legalising 'double diffusers'.

Even though Fernando Alonso's car is now fitted with an early version of the controversial aerodynamic treatment, the Renault boss said the sport is racing down a dangerous road.

"After the death of Senna the principle was to not give certain (ground) effects to the cars, but now suddenly it's all legal," the Italian told La Gazzetta dello Sport in China.

He said the current pecking order, with Renault, McLaren and Ferrari struggling, and the Brawn drivers out in front, is an affront to F1's credibility.

"Our drivers are or have been world champions, and then you have a (Brawn) driver who was almost retired, and another who is a 'paracarro', fighting for the championship," said Briatore.

"I don't know how we can say we have credibility."

A 'paracarro' is a concrete roadside post, and it is not clear if Briatore was referring to Button or Barrichello.

With a modified diffuser, Lewis Hamilton was quickest on Friday morning in China, but Briatore doubts the original 'diffuser 3' can be so easily caught.

"It is impossible to recover the ground we have lost on those teams," he insisted. "In three or four races the championship will be decided and I don't know what the interest of the TV viewers will be when Button has 60 points and Nakajima 50.

"It will be better to listen only on radio and watch something else," said Briatore.

He also said the current situation has made a mockery of Max Mosley's proposal to impose a 33m euro budget cap next year.

"We have spent 15 on KERS, another 10 on the diffuser, so we have five left for travel and to pay the employees," said Briatore.

Figures for Red Bull have also expressed disappointment over the issue, and it remains the case that BMW has still not decided whether to appeal the decision of the stewards to reject its diffuser protest of Malaysia.

Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali, meanwhile, is wary of the manner in which the Court of Appeal so quickly came to its decision to reject the anti-diffuser teams' case.

"The perception is that it was a decision already taken," he said in Shanghai. "The court closed at the end (of Tuesday) and immediately in the morning (of Wednesday) there was the decision.

"It's a strange feeling and we await the (court's) motivation," said Domenicali.

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