Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel

Briatore: If Ferrari want to win they need Verstappen

Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel

Flavio Briatore has weighed into the problems regarding Ferrari by declaring that if the legendary Italian team are intent on winning the Formula 1 constructors’ championship they need to hire Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

In Sebastian Vettel they have a driver capable of winning and spearheading a title charge, but Raikkonen has simply not delivered anywhere near his teammate, a deal for another year with the team has been inked long ago ensuring the grumpy Finn remains in the team for at least another year.

Briatore believes that this is the wrong call by the powers that be at Maranello and told Corriere dello Sport, “I don’t know what [Sergio] Marchionne will do, he is unpredictable and wants to win, but with Raikkonen you will never win the constructors’ title. To win it you need two good drivers, and Ferrari does not have that.”

“In Singapore it was clear that Ferrari could beat a Mercedes. The drivers should have been told to work together. Vettel had to keep Verstappen at bay, with Raikkonen providing cover… the drivers need to be better managed, because things like that affected the whole team. This year Ferrari had a great chance to beat Mercedes, but they failed to do so.”

The comparisons between Raikkonen and Vettel during their time together at Ferrari are telling. The German has won eight times in three years, while the Finn has not won a single race during this period – last victory was at the 2013 Australian Grand Prix.

In the past three seasons Vettel has scored 792 points while Raikkonen has amassed 529 points. Perhaps Ferrari are still ‘paying back’ the Iceman for their last drivers’ title which he won for them a decade ago.

Briatore threw fuel on the fire when he suggested, “Verstappen to Ferrari? I would sign him with my eyes closed. He is the only real driver that people want to see. He’s a gladiator that they do everything to penalise in every race.”

The controversial Italian, former Renault team boss, also spoke of Lewis Hamilton’s season, “He is a great champion. This year he did very well, he was more motivated on track than going to nightclubs.’

Then mused, “Lewis in Ferrari? I do not think so, he cannot coexist with Vettel.”

It is well known that Briatore is a big fan of Fernando Alonso who he mentored and managed for most of the Spaniard’s career and he is adamant that in the right car the double F1 World Champion would have excelled.

“Alonso is still the best. He is always there even with half a car as he showed this year. He is the strongest and most consistent driver. With him and Vettel, Ferrari would have won the constructors’ championship this year,” opined Briatore.

Big Question: Do Ferrari need Max?

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