Former Renault team principal Flavio Briatore has dismissed the rumor linking Fernando Alonso with the vacant seat at Red Bull for 2014, believing that the two-time world champion will remain with Ferrari.
Briatore masterminded both of Alonso’s championships with Renault in 2005 and 2006, but he left the sport under a dark cloud following the race-fixing scandal at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. Despite seeing Alonso Renault for McLaren in 2007, Briatore does not believe that the Spaniard would walk out on Ferrari in a similar fashion.
Speaking to Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport, Briatore said: “Fernando has a contract and contracts must be respected. There is no temptation whatsoever.”
A rumor broke at the Hungarian Grand Prix suggesting that Alonso’s manager had met with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, and although Alonso denied that any contact had been made, the plot thickened after he criticized the Ferrari design team and was then publicly rebuked by the team’s president, Luca di Montezemolo.
Briatore believes that it is natural for a driver to want the best possible car, but he is confident that the relationship will improve once Ferrari provide Alonso with a quicker car.
“It’s normal for a racing driver to desire a competitive car and the team must work hard to supply it,” Briatore said. “End of story. Alonso has never said he wants to leave. Ferrari and Alonso remain a winning pairing – he just needs to have a car that allows him to start from the top two rows.”