Flavio Briatore criticises 'little' Massa
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Flavio Briatore criticises 'little' Massa

The Renault boss branded Ferrari's Felipe Massa 'little in every sense', accusing him of slowing Alonso in Japanese GP qualifying.

india Updated: Oct 07, 2006 17:19 IST

Renault boss Flavio Briatore branded Ferrari's Felipe Massa 'little in every sense' on Saturday, accusing him of slowing Fernando Alonso in Japanese Grand Prix qualifying.

"He is a kid, he is a little kid. Little in every sense," the Italian told reporters.

Briatore felt the diminutive Brazilian, who qualified on pole position ahead of team mate and Formula One championship leader Michael Schumacher, held up Renault's Fernando Alonso in the decisive final qualifying session.

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

"Felipe was in front of Fernando, braking and everything," Briatore told reporters after Alonso qualified fifth.

"We will talk with (FIA race director) Charlie (Whiting) about this, this is perfect. Today we will tell Charlie, but nothing will happen. We already know what the answer will be," he added.

"Fernando on the radio was complaining. If you are fighting with McLaren it is fine, if you fight with these guys (Ferrari) it is impossible."

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 governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) changed the rules after the incident, saying drivers would only be penalised for intentional blocking.

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."

Ironically, the controversy came a day after Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn called for fair play in the decisive last two races and singled out blocking tactics as a concern.

Schumacher and Alonso are level on points, with the German 7-6 ahead on race wins. He can take the title on Sunday if he wins and his Renault rival fails to score.

"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 had told reporters.

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

First Published: Oct 07, 2006 17:19 IST