Italian businessman Flavio Briatore, former managing director and team principal of the Renault F1 team, has suggested that Scuderia Ferrari have made a mistake by not signing Max Verstappen for the future. Dutchman Verstappen, 20, is regarded as a definite champion of the future, but he has been signed up by Red Bull through 2020.
Before that happened, Scuderia Ferrari re-signed the Finnish veteran Kimi Raikkonen for the 2018 Formula One season: “I don’t know what [Sergio] Marchionne will do, he is unpredictable.” – Flavio Briatore said, as reported by Rai radio on Tuesday – “But with Raikkonen you will never win the constructors’ title. To win you need two good drivers, and Ferrari does not have that. I would sign Verstappen with my eyes closed. He is the only real driver that people want to see – a gladiator that they do everything to penalise in every race.” – said Flavio Briatore, who has developed a diverse portfolio of business interests outside Formula 1, many of which revolve around fashion.
The Italian businessman also hailed Lewis Hamilton’s 2017 title triumph, saying: “This year he was more motivated on the track than in the disco.”
Meanwhile, Formula One legend Niki Lauda thinks that Scuderia Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne was right to say that driver mistakes cost the Maranello team the chance to beat Lewis Hamilton this year: “I know Sergio well and like me he says what he thinks, although sometimes I’m a little more diplomatic,” the Mercedes team chairman told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport – “But I understand. They lost the championship – it’s right to be critical.” – Niki Lauda said.
The 2017 Formula One championship concludes on 26 November with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which is scheduled to take place at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.