Two of the most prominent figures of the FOTA team alliance are at loggerheads over the 'rear diffuser' saga
Two of the most prominent figures of the FOTA team alliance are at loggerheads over the 'rear diffuser' saga.
Despite other chiefs of the Formula One Teams Association insisting that on-track issues are separate to FOTA's totally unified efforts, Renault boss Flavio Briatore could not hide his anger at Ross Brawn last weekend.
Briatore chairs FOTA's commercial aspect, while Brawn is in charge of technical matters.
Toyota is also tangled up in the diffuser saga, as one of the teams being protested against, and its president John Howett is the FOTA vice-chairman.
"I don't like the behaviour of the FOTA technical delegate (Brawn), who should have reported this thing immediately," Briatore told the Italian media.
"Brawn should have been fair. Three months ago he should have come to us to tell us there are two interpretations over the diffusers. When I go to the FIA or to Ecclestone, I go in the name of the FOTA, not Renault's.
"I don't like the fact that a FOTA representative didn't relate things transparently," he added.
Brawn dismissed Briatore's comments as overly emotional, but it is clear the row is playing into the hands of F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA, who see FOTA's unity as a threat to their power.
"Can I put something in your mind?" Bernie told the Times newspaper prior to the season opener last week.
"Ross Brawn is the guy that runs the teams' technical committee and probably knows what's going to happen before other people, or is in a position to guide things. There's a massive conflict of interest," the Briton said.