Renault Boss Flavio Briatore has stated he believes that despite signing World Champion Fernando Alonso, McLaren will continue to struggle in the 2007 season.
McLaren had a poor 2006 season, failing to win a single Grand Prix for the first time in a decade of racing. McLaren are hoping to bounce back to top form after signing new talent Hamilton alongside Fernando Alonso. However Briatore is not convinced about their potential comeback. “It will be a tough year for them,” he said. “They have always had fantastic drivers like Raikkonen and they always announce them early to demonstrate they are changing. But this year, the book of excuses has come to it’s last page.”
Briatore also does not believe that 2007 will be Ferrari’s year either. “Ferrari without Schumacher and Brawn will be less competitive,” he claimed. “That’s normal when you lose people like them.”
Meanwhile, Briatore has backed Luca di Montezemolo’s push to reduce Formula 1 costs. The Ferrari boss said that reducing spiralling expenditure is crucial to the future of the motorsport. The estimated budget for Ferrari for 2006 was $330 million. Briatore has said that Renault are already trying to reduce costs. “In numerous areas we are beginning to use less workers than some other teams do,” he explained.