Briatore says Ferrari lost its excellence in Formula 1 9 April, 2014 Fernando Alonso and Flavio Briatore 2006 F1 world champions While Ferrari’s global brand remains strong, the health of the Maranello based Formula 1 team is “less impressive” according to ex Formula 1 team boss Flavio Briatore, who was asked by Italian Radio 105 if he thinks that Ferrari still stands for excellence. “The brand is an excellence,” the 63-year-old former Renault and Benetton boss said. “For the team, at the moment it is very difficult. It is not an excellence in competitiveness, in Formula 1, but the brand is very strong in the world.” Indeed, it is now more than six years since Kimi Raikkonen won the 2007 title, and 2014 is the fifth Ferrari campaign since Formula 1’s highest paid driver, Fernando Alonso, joined the Maranello team. “The fear is rising within [team boss Stefano] Domenicali that the situation will not change,” Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport commented on Tuesday. Speculation Spaniard that Alonso could return to McLaren to replace Jenson Button and lead the British team’s new Honda era from 2015 is now increasing by the day. “Eight years on since Fernando’s last title,” Gazzetta added, “how could he be stopped from moving to another team?” Alonso was quoted in Bahrain last weekend as admitting that when he joined Ferrari in 2010, he expected to add a third title to his tally relatively quickly. He finished the Bahrain Grand Prix just ninth. “This result speaks the truth,” Alonso is now quoted as having said after the race. “Currently we are only the fifth best team in the championship. “The truth is that this result is what we are capable of,” the German news agency SID quoted him. (GMM) Subbed by AJN.