Briatore Accuses Ross Brawn of Conflict of Interest

Another episode of the diffuser saga consumed itself yesterday, after Renault's boss Flavio Briatore accused Ross Brawn of “not being fair” when keeping the different interpretation of the rear diffuser design all to himself within the Formula One Teams Association meetings. Briatore fumed with rage after the Australian Grand Prix, when Brawn GP were practically untouchable on the timing sheets.

He insisted Brawn should have informed all team principals about the different interpretation of the rules, therefore avoiding the diffuser scandal afterwards. The Englishmen is in charge of the technical matters within the FOTA, a position in which he is obliged to guide the development of other teams in terms of aerodynamic package (among other things).

“I don't like the behavior of the FOTA technical delegate (Brawn), who should have reported this thing immediately. Brawn should have been fair. Three months ago he should have come to us to tell us there are two interpretations over the diffusers. When I go to the FIA or to Ecclestone, I go in the name of the FOTA, not Renault's. I don't like the fact that a FOTA representative didn't relate things transparently,” said Briatore, according to the Italian media.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone himself admitted the matter falls under the “conflict of interest” chapter, as Brawn kept the different rear diffuser design secret from the other teams throughout the winter.

“Ross Brawn is the guy that runs the teams' technical committee and probably knows what's going to happen before other people, or is in a position to guide things. There's a massive conflict of interest,” Bernie was quoted as saying to The Times newspaper last week.

FIA's International Court of Appeal is yet to give a verdict to the diffuser saga during their next meeting on April 14th. However, with teams' latest reactions on the matter, it's likely that the different designs will eventually be given the OK by the international body.
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