Flavio Briatore has described Fernando Alonso's move to Ferrari as the "high point" of the Spaniard's career.
Briatore, who has been banned indefinitely from international motorsport for his role in the race-fixing affair, oversaw Alonso's career and was his team boss at Renault as the Spaniard won his two world championships. He believes Alonso will go on to even greater heights for Ferrari and will make a huge contribution to the team.
"I think that Ferrari has made a great deal, and that Alonso will get lots of satisfaction," Briatore was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport. "For him, after all, moving to Ferrari is the high point of a fantastic career.
"His most exciting quality, for the team he races for, is the performance consistency: he is always prepared, always at the limit on every track. He is charismatic with the engineers and he is a hard worker. He never gives up. He's a fantastic, quick, intelligent, incisive racing driver. A gladiator on the track."
Briatore also expressed his gratitude to Alonso for dedicating third place in Singapore to him.
"Fernando has been very nice, dedicating the podium to me was very pleasing," he said.
Alonso confirmed earlier today that he had consulted Briatore about his team change.
"I was in touch with Flavio two months ago when we were talking about 2011 at that time and now in the last few days when everything was sorted for 2010," he said. "I spoke with Flavio and he was very happy for me because he knows what Ferrari means and he is extremely happy for my career now."
He added that he had spoken to Briatore once the deal had been confirmed, and that the Italian did not seem to be pressing ahead with action against the FIA over his ban.
"I spoke to him by telephone, but he doesn't seem to worry at the moment," said Alonso. "Yesterday he was relaxing at the beach, so he doesn't seem that hungry at the moment..."