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Briatore speaks out 22 Mar 2003

Flavio Briatore (ITA) Renault Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang, Malaysia, 21 March 2003

Renault Sport chief Flavio Briatore believes that unlimited testing in Formula One should be banned, and replaced by an extension of testing at Grand Prix races to begin on Thursdays.

"I believe that last year, the year before, and the year before, I've seen all the results of these tests, basically it was zero. In the meantime, I have two hours to run ... I believe if we're racing, doing two hours more in the morning you have the time to set the car up better, evaluate the tyres better, because the tyres are very important, and then we still have 20 days testing. It's very good, 20 days testing, especially as Fernando is in his first year with us."

"Maybe we should be doing Thursday as well," Briatore added. "We're all here, all the expenses are here, the hotels, the containers, everything is here. I think testing should be banned and we should just do Thursday and Friday. For everybody it would be the same. I don't see the difference - to run like mad and spend a lot of money for no reason."

Briatore also said on Friday that he supported revisions to the new qualifying format, including the reinstatement of refuelling between the final qualifying session and the race. Given his drivers' stellar performances in the second qualifying session in Malaysia, it will be interesting to see whether he is reconciled to the new system.