Flavio Briatore has hinted for the first time that Fernando Alonso’s move to McLaren-Honda may have been a mistake.
The management of Spaniard Alonso’s career is still directed by his former Renault boss Briatore.
The 66-year-old Italian told Gr Parlamento Rai radio that Alonso does not regret the five years he spent at Ferrari.
“I think Ferrari is the team he loved the most,” Briatore said.
“But there was a time when too many people spoke and it was unbearable. It was no fault of the management, but gossip.
“He was criticised for not being more successful but the car was not able to be on the second row and he got it there,” he insisted.
“He would also have been world champion in Abu Dhabi (in 2010) if they had just got the strategy right,” Briatore added.
Alonso moved from Ferrari to McLaren-Honda at the end of the 2014 season, with Briatore saying driving around in the midfield is now akin to “luxury retirement” for the 34-year-old.
“The other day a journalist asked if he would win again and everyone laughed,” Briatore said.
“Alonso has an important contract with McLaren as I thought Honda would be competitive before now.
“It was even a little my fault, as I advised him to sign because I thought McLaren would be able to fix things quickly. Looking at the results, there is not much more to say,” he added.