Mike Stevens | Apr 19, 2009

World Championship favourite Jenson Button has slammed former boss Flavio Briatore over comments he made about the Brawn GP drivers in Shanghai.

Frustrated at the FIA’s decision to rule the ‘double-decker’ diffuser legal, Briatore unleashed a stunning tirade against Button and teammate Rubens Barrichello, deriding their success this season.

“The drivers in our teams have been and are world champions, while the championship is now fought between a driver who was almost retired and another one who is a good guy but a ‘paracarro’ (Italian term meaning as slow as a kerbstone)," Briatore said to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“In three or four grands prix, the title will be already decided, and I can’t see what interest TV and spectators can have in seeing a race when Button has 60 points and the Japanese [Kazuki Nakajima] 50: it’s better to listen to a race like that on the radio and watch anything but that.

“People want the fight at the top to be among the best drivers in the world.”

Button wasn’t impressed with Briatore’s comments, cheekily revealing that the Italian had tried to hire him this season as a replacement for Nelson Piquet Jr.

"Unless he is at the front of F1, I am sure [he thinks] any team [being there] hurts the credibility of F1," he said.

"He also needs to remember that he tried to employ me for this year."

Barrichello seemed less impressed with the remarks, hinting to reporters that Briatore was simply a bad sport.

"I think that is stupid. Really. What a comment. If we all think that we need Ferrari and McLaren to win, why are the others here?” he said.

"There are plenty of good people in the paddock and plenty of bad losers."

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