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Sports Briatore to Alonso: "If you don't stop, I'll lock you in the garage"

18:39  23 february  2021
18:39  23 february  2021 Source:   motorsport-total.com

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© Motorsport Images "I talk to him almost every day": Briatore and Alonso are close friends

As Fernando Alonso while cycling almost two weeks ago had an accident, worries about the Spaniard were great. But the Alpine team, for which the 39-year-old will compete in the 2021 Formula 1 season, gave the all-clear shortly afterwards : apart from a broken jaw, he had not been seriously injured.

His long-time sponsor Flavio Briatore knows how Alonso is doing after the accident and what actually happened. "Fernando crashed into a car," he reveals in the video call with Formula 1 journalist Peter Windsor.

"He was so lucky. I remember Nicky Hayden, the motorcyclist, Mark Webber or Alex Zanardi. It could have turned out so much worse." Hayden sustained such serious injuries in a bicycle accident in 2017 that he died a little later. Zanardi had a serious accident with his handbike in 2020.

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Briatore threatened Alonso: "I'll lock you up!"

That is why Briatore kept telling Alonso in the past to keep his hands off the racing bike. "I told him to stop riding this racing bike because it is very dangerous. If you really want to ride a bike, you should ride a mountain bike, but not on the road," says the Italian.

"I said to him: If you don't stop, I'll lock you in the garage - you and not the bike!" Now he hopes Alonso has learned his lesson. The 39-year-old survived the accident halfway without damage.

"He can speak normally again. Two of his front teeth broke, but he was still lucky. These bicycles are very dangerous. God held his protective hand over him. He can speak again without any problems. Only for the one day, when he had an ice bandage, he couldn't speak. "

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Last Formula 1 years "frustrating" for Alonso

Alonso is also physically absolutely fit and ready for the first official test in Bahrain (March 12-14), says Briatore. "I think the two years away from Formula 1 were good for him. Because it brings new motivation," he says.

This had just suffered in Alonso's last Formula 1 years with McLaren, when he was mercilessly behind with inferior equipment: "When you drive in a car and don't have the opportunity to win, it's a total frustration for such a driver. " In this context, Briatore draws a comparison with Mercedes.

"I think if you put six or seven drivers in the Mercedes, six or seven drivers could win the championship. Nowadays the car is so dominant compared to the driver's ability," he analyzes.

Briatore sees Renault on the right track

However, Briatore Alonso is in good hands with Renault, which will operate under the name Alpine from this season. "Luca de Meo, the new chairman of Renault, is very keen to invest in Formula 1 and for the long term." And that is exactly how the success of a team depends, Briatore knows from experience.

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"Renault was very good with me because whenever I needed money, I got it. We put everything into the performance of the car. At the same time, we had the shabbiest motorhome in Formula 1. You can still have a great motorhome that does your car is nowhere near fast. I'd rather put all the money in the car. "

The fact that Alonso is returning to his roots in 2021 and making his comeback at Renault, the manufacturer with whom he celebrated his greatest Formula 1 successes alongside Briatore, makes the former team boss particularly happy.

Alonso is ready: in the test "straight away"

"Renault is like a big family. Everyone is looking forward to Alonso and is very motivated. I am especially excited to see what will happen in 2022, when the cars change. 2021 is yes more of a transition year. But Fernando is ready. You could see that he was quick at the test in Abu Dhabi ", says Briatore.

Alonso finished the Young Driver Test in mid-December with the fastest time of the day and left the other young drivers behind. His participation in the test in which he piloted the R.S. 20, was considered a controversial in the scene.

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