Button: Briatore is just jealous

button3Jenson Button has hit back at Renault boss Flavio Briatore after the Italian launched a scathing attack against him, effectively accusing his Brawn GP team of cheating in the wake of the diffuser row.

Briatore has been highly critical of the FIA’s decision to declare the double-decker diffusers on the Brawn GP, Williams, and Toyota teams as legal following the Court of Appeal hearing in Paris last week.

Speaking to the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello he said that the advantage these three teams are currently enjoying in Formula One is damaging the sport’s credibility.

“The drivers in our teams have been and are world champions,” he said “and yet the title is being fought between one driver who is a semi-pensioner and another who is a decent bloke but is like a roadside post.

“I don’t know what that does for [F1’s] credibility. It is impossible to make up the gap between us and the diffuser teams.

“In three or four grands prix the championship will be over, and I don’t see the interest from television and the spectators’ point-of-view in watching a grand prix when Button has 60 points and [Williams’ Kazuki] Nakajima [has] 50 points. It would be better to listen to it on the radio and watch something else.”

Button, who is poised to take his third consecutive win of the season at this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai putting him in pole position for the title, has hit back at his former boss accusing him of being jealous of Brawn GP’s success

“Unless he is at the front, I am sure [he thinks] any team [being there] hurts the credibility of F1,” the 29-year-old told ITV-F1. “He also needs to remember that he tried to employ me for this year.”

“He is obviously a very angry man after the diffuser issues and he is obviously very disappointed that they haven’t produced a car that is as competitive as ours.

“We have produced a very competitive car because of the workforce we have back at Brackley, and you cannot take it away from them it is very unfair to say that. They have worked very, very hard in very difficult circumstances and it is very, very unfair for Flavio to comment as he has just because he is a little bit bitter.”