Flavio Briatore claims to have made two of the best four Formula One drivers of all time – Schumacher, Alonso, Senna and Prost
Flavio Briatore believes that he has half of the greatest talents under his wing. Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso were the best drivers of all time – together with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. The Italian former F1 boss managed both drivers in his F1 teams, Benetton and Renault.
“These were the two best drivers in Formula 1 alongside Senna and Prost,” the 66-year-old says in an interview with Sky Sports. “A driver needs to be a team spirit and motivation, and you have 20 types in Formula One, but only one or two can make this difference, and our drivers have done that.”
Briatore took Michael Schumacher under his wing in the early 1990s and wrote a success story with two world titles at Benetton. Afterwards, the later world champion began his adventure at Ferrari.
Around 2000, the Italian multimillionaire discovered the next Super talent in Fernando Alonso.
“I wanted to create a story, make a film,” says Flavio. “I had already written such a story with Benetton, Michael was in the lead role, I wanted to write another success story with Renault, but I still needed a main actor, that was Fernando.” I wanted to produce the same story, with just another actor. ”
He remembers the first meeting with the young Formula 3000 driver. “Fernando was a shy guy at the time,” he grins. “But I felt that feeling, felt his potential, I paid Minardi the season and took him under my wing, so it was simple – I had already signed him for eight months. ”
The young Spaniard excelled with the completely hopeless Minardi in the F1 season 2001 and drove often in the midfield.
In the winter of 2002/03, after only two years, he dismissed the highly praised Jenson Button from the new Renault team and took Alonso to the cockpit. He became a hate figure for the British media. “I accepted that,” the Italian Playboy smiles, knowing that he has made the right deal. “I said to them,” Let us see again in four or five years whether I am right or not. ”
He eventually praised Button later on. “He had done a great job and had rightly become world champion.”
“Fernando was excellent for us,” he continues. “He was the next Michael Schumacher, the team has grown with him and has developed a regular enthusiasm, everyone worked so hard to give him a perfect car, it was a great feeling in the factory So he’d grow up with the Renault team as he did, as with Benetton with Michael. “