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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Briatore wants to stay friends with Bernie

Briatore wants to stay friends with Bernie

June 23, 2009 12:54 IST

Renault team boss Flavio Briatore refuses to allow his friendship with Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone be soured by plans for a breakaway championship.

"Bernie is a friend of mine, still a friend of mine," Briatore told Reuters when asked about the complicated situation.

"Sometimes in business you have a different opinion, but friendship is friendship. I'm friends with Bernie, and I want to be friends with Bernie for a long time."

The Italian and Ecclestone, 78, are co-owners of English championship (second division) soccer club Queens Park Rangers.

At the same time, Ecclestone is a long-term ally of International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Max Mosley, who is at loggerheads with the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) over next year's rules.

Mosley branded some of the team bosses 'loonies' at last weekend's British Grand Prix and accused Briatore of pushing the breakaway so he could become the new Ecclestone.

Briatore gave Ecclestone and Mosley a lift to Silverstone on Sunday in his helicopter -- joking afterwards that they all had a parachute.

He found Mosley's comments less amusing, however.

"Max is going personal all the time. I'm too much of a gentleman to go personal," he said, noting that Mosley's own habits had been well documented after a sado-masochistic sex scandal last year.

"If he wants to go personal, I have a lot to say about Max. I know. He needs to stop insulting people.

"If there is somebody who needs to be very quiet in their personal life, it's him."

Mosley had earlier said he always got on well with Briatore.

"Flavio is great on a personal level," he said. "But obviously sometimes when you have got something as complex as Formula One, you can have disagreements about how things operate within the sport."

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