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GP Week : Issue 101
FORMER Renault team principal Flavio Briatore has scotched rumours that he is set to return to the sport in 2013, the date at which his ban for the ‘Crashgate’ scandal expires. Sixty year-old Briatore has been a guest of FOM boss Bernie Ecclestone at several races this year but insisted his presence had nothing to do with plans to come back in an official capacity, and was happy watching from the sidelines. “I want to have fun with what I'm doing – that is my motivation and not the need for a job, he told Formula1.com. ”It's very satisfying being a dad, I'm more relaxed than ever before in my life. I have won seven titles with different teams, and at the moment I wouldn't have fun in Formula One. At the moment I am happy with what I am doing – being a dad, husband, and taking care of my investments. I am more relaxed than ever before in my life.” When pressed on rumours about a role with Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli, Briatore rubbished them in typical style: “That’s bullshit! Who cares about tyres? What people want to hear about are stories about the drivers, stories about Ferrari. That is what the people want. “Very often people in the paddock seem to forget that it’s only the fight of the drivers for positions that draws the crowds – and not the work of the engineers,” continued the Italian. “That doesn’t knock anybody’s socks off. Fans are not interested in the fact that it takes 600 people and $200 million to get a reasonable car on the grid. They want to see their heroes fighting each other.” WHILE most observers of Formula One continue – justifiably – to marvel at the spectacle that is the Singapore Grand Prix, on track drivers were not so impressed with the revisions made to the circuit, with the ‘Singapore Sling’ chicane at Turn 10 coming in for serious criticism. In free practice, Adrian Sutil’s Force India was launched off the right-hand kerbing, wrecking the car’s left-front suspension after it crashed back to earth. To add insult to injury, Sutil was also hit with a $10,000 fine for attempting to drive the damaged car the remaining half a lap back to the pits. The Turn 10 chicane exists to slow drivers down from around 170mph as they head to a 90-degree right- hander. Organisers moved the exit away from the outer wall in response to Kimi Raikkonen’s crash last year, but McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton felt not enough had been done "I think they made the track worse," he said of the changes. "The chicane is probably the worst corner I've ever driven in Formula One. I mean, it's just ridiculous. Last year was already small, but now it's just more dangerous. We saw one car take off already, I think Adrian Sutil. You approach that corner at 160 mph and you have to brake down. If something goes wrong or someone's brakes fail and hits one of those kerbs, we are going to see a nasty accident." hamilton slams chicane Briatore denies F1 comeback plans F1 NEWS >> 12