May 5 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Flavio Briatore claims Mercedes actually has no desire to dominate the 2015 season.
The controversial former Renault chief told Italian radio Rai that, having utterly dominated last season, Mercedes is now happy to have its heels nipped by a resurgent Ferrari.
It follows Red Bull chief Dr Helmut Marko’s sensational claim late last month that “Mercedes helped Ferrari” catch up over the winter.
“And we all know why,” he said, sensing an obvious political motive.
Italian Briatore is now picking up the same theme.
“Mercedes does not want to show excessive power, otherwise the rules will be changed,” he said, amid a widespread push in the sport to radically shake up the regulations for 2017.
“It is not in their interest to win so easily,” Briatore charged.
Briatore, a close friend and ally of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, also tipped the 84-year-old to stay in charge for at least “another year or two”.
“He has the strength to remake F1, but he should have more support from CVC and the FIA.
“After he goes, there will be no one like him again. If CVC stays, it will appoint a chief executive, perhaps an American, and formula one will be controlled by a board.
“This would not be good,” said Briatore, “as it is better to have a good little dictator making the rules.”
He also commented on rumours Lewis Hamilton might be set to switch to Ferrari, insisting: “I think he is comfortable where he is, as he has Rosberg under pressure.
“Raikkonen has improved but I don’t know if they (Ferrari) are going to keep him, otherwise I’d go for a young guy like Bottas.
“My favourite is always Ricciardo but he is stuck with Red Bull,” Briatore added.