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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 October 2006, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Renault criticise Massa tactics
Felipe Massa ahead of Fernando Alonso during qualifying
Briatore believes Massa tried to hold up Alonso on Saturday
Renault chief Flavio Briatore hit out at Ferrari's Felipe Massa for blocking Fernando Alonso during qualifying at the Japanese Grand Prix.

He said: "Felipe was in front of Fernando, braking and everything."

Briatore plans to report the incident to race director Charlie Whiting but added: "Nothing will happen. We already know what the answer will be.

"If you are fighting with McLaren, it is fine, but if you fight with these guys (Ferrari) it is impossible."

Briatore's comments came a day after Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn called for fair play in the decisive last two races and described blocking as "unacceptable".

"I think what we mustn't have is, let's say, the number two drivers blocking or intentionally slowing one of the championship contenders," Brawn said on Friday.

"I think that would be a bit unfortunate and unacceptable."

Brawn's words were in the wake of events at last week's Chinese Grand Prix when Alonso and team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella appeared to work together to hold back Michael Schumacher for two laps of the race.

Renault team chief Flavio Briatore
He is a little kid - little in every sense

Renault chief Flavio Briatore on Felipe Massa
But Briatore was left incensed on Saturday, claiming diminutive Brazillian Massa - who earned pole position ahead of team-mate and championship leader Schumacher - held up his driver in the decisive final qualifying session.

"He is a kid, he is a little kid. Little in every sense," added the Renault team chief.

If Briatore is correct, that would be a reversal of a situation that saw the world champion controversially penalised at last month's Italian Grand Prix for allegedly impeding Massa.

Alonso was pushed back to 10th at Monza after qualifying fifth when race stewards deemed he had, albeit unintentionally, got in Massa's way - although video replays suggested they were well apart.

The FIA, the sport's governing body, changed the rules after the incident, saying drivers would only be penalised for intentional blocking.

Article 116b of the F1 sporting regulations states: "If, in the opinion of the stewards, a driver deliberately stops on the circuit or impedes another driver in any way during the qualifying practice session his times will be cancelled."

Massa shrugged off the incident: "It was just... the first lap, he was behind me but then I pulled away, so that's qualifying," he said.

"It's always been a bit like that this year."

SEE ALSO
Alonso hopeful of Renault revival
07 Oct 06 |  Formula One
Ferrari duo leave Alonso trailing
07 Oct 06 |  Formula One
Japan GP qualifying as it happened
07 Oct 06 |  Formula One


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