Brawn unmoved by Briatore's TV money complaints
Ross Brawn believes a push to cut off his team's 2009 television rights money by Renault boss Flavio Briatore should be dealt with behind closed doors – rather than being dragged into the public domain.
A furious Briatore has said he will propose to the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) that monies owed to Brawn GP, worth around $50 million, are instead split between rival teams to help pay for diffuser development costs.
It is the latest in a series of attacks on Brawn by Briatore – who he believes has acted incorrectly by not using his role as head of FOTA's technical committee to head off the diffuser controversy. Brawn is unmoved by Briatore's angry remarks, however, and vowed not to get dragged into a war of words with his former boss.
When asked at Shanghai if he had a message for Briatore, Brawn drily replied: "I think change the medication!"
Brawn wants the television money issue to be dealt with internally at FOTA – which is due to meet again after the Bahrain Grand Prix.
"I would rather not talk about it," Brawn said when asked by AUTOSPORT if he was concerned about the money being cut off by Briatore's plan. "It is a shame that he brings those things into the public arena, as it is FOTA business. But that is his style. I would rather not talk about it."
He added: "Flavio is very flamboyant, isn't he? He is great with the one-liners and that is his forte. I'm not, so I am not going to respond."
The diffuser controversy is providing a key test for FOTA's unity, with factions having developed in the paddock over the matter.
Brawn still felt, however, that there should be no fear of FOTA's momentum for improving the sport being weakened by the row.
"Not if we are mature and adult about it," he said about the chances of FOTA's unity breaking because of the dispute. "We have got to learn to fight on the track, and if necessary fight in the courts over the technicalities of the cars because that is part of it. But then have a strong FOTA outside of it. The analogy I keep quoting of playing rugby is exactly what it is. We have to learn to separate the two things, and if we learn to separate the two things then FOTA has a great future."