STRONG OPINIONS: Former Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatore. Image: Shutterstock.
LONDON, England - Flavio Briatore, the former Renault Formula 1 team boss, has hit back at claims that Fernando Alonso's relationship with Ferrari was in ruins when he left the team.
One of the Spaniard's former contemporaries, David Coulthard, this week repeated the Formula 1 paddock's perception of Alonso as perhaps the very best driver but with a fiery character.
And now more fireworks might be expected as the 33-year-old returns to McLaren, where his relationship with Ron Dennis ended in calamity in 2007.
"I agree that he is the best of the best," Coulthard told Spox this week. "He always manages to collect more points than his team mate and in the race is probably in a class of his own but his time at McLaren ended badly and in the end it was not working at Ferrari either.
"One cannot deny it: as good as Fernando is, his integration into a team does carry a risk of explosion."
However Briatore, who has guided Alonso's management throughout his career and was running Renault when he won his two titles, hit back at suggestions the driver had to leave Ferrari because his relationship had soured.
"Regarding those five years," the Italian told F1 insider Leo Turrini, "I'll tell you this: a lot of nonsense has been said."
Briatore added on Turrini's Quotidiano blog: "He (Alonso) felt good in Italy and had a good relationship with the Scuderia and the people who worked there. Yes, in the end there was some misunderstanding with management, but nothing serious or unrecoverable.
"It's just things that happen when results do not come."
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