Flavio Briatore has hit out at the FIA over their decision to penalise Sergio Perez after Sunday’s 2022 Singapore GP, adding that he would have broken his computer had he been in the Ferrari garage.
The Mexican crossed the line seven seconds clear of Charles Leclerc to claim the fourth win of his F1 career. However, the result was initially under threat as the Red Bull driver was under investigation for a Safety Car infringement.
In the end Perez was handed a reprimand and a five-second time penalty hours after the end of the race, which allowed him to keep the win, but Briatore believes the entire situation was poorly handled.
“If I were at Ferrari I would have broken my computer,” Briatore told LaPresse. “Everyone has their way of governance, but what I can say is that what we saw on Sunday isn’t good for the sport or the show.
“They even had the podium ceremony, but let’s say there was more than a five-second penalty, Ferrari would have won the race two hours later. That can’t happen.
“Was it easier for the FIA to make their ruling given Leclerc finished seven seconds behind Perez? Absolutely, but if they had made a decision right away then perhaps Leclerc would have driven a different race.”
Briatore critical of the FIA
Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix isn’t the first time the stewards and the FIA have faced criticism in recent years over their handling of on track matters.
Briatore, who served as managing director at Benetton and team principal at Renault in the 1990s and 2000s, believes there weren’t as many issues back in the day because the FIA had people who were up to the job.
“They [FIA]have people who aren’t up to the job,” said Briatore. “There’s a problem at every race, even yesterday [Sunday].
“If there was an infraction, why must they wait hours to make a decision when they have everything they need to do so in minutes? It’s the FIA’s fault, not F1. They absolutely must change because a race and event can be ruined, which impacts the championship.
“The FIA must be run by professionals, this is key. The president must decide, it’s important to have a federation that is up to task of governing F1.
“Why didn’t this happen before? Simple, because there were professionals back then.”