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Briatore snubs talks of quitting Formula One

RENAULT team boss Flavio Briatore denied that he will walk out on Formula One in two years' time and said he wanted to help secure a healthy future for the sport.

The Italian said Honda, which rocked the sport last month with its decision to pull out, should also have listened to his warnings about soaring costs. "I never said that to the Italian newspapers," the Italian declared when asked about reported comments about his future last month.

"We are living in a very crucial moment in Formula One. This crisis we have is I believe something that has everyone thinking.

"What I want is to make sure that we have done what a manager needs to do to give Formula One the possibility to survive this crisis and to change the business," he added at the launch of the team's 2009 car on Monday.

"Instead of being a center of costs, it should be a centre of profit. We have a responsibility for the people working for us to give them a future."

The flamboyant multi-millionaire said on Monday that for years he had been urging Formula One to cut costs and it had taken Honda's withdrawal for people to see sense.

"It looked like I was alone talking about costs," he said. "Now finally, we are there. What we are doing is to try and structure Formula One in a different way and I want to be part of that. I hope it doesn't take 10 years.

Briatore criticized those who had questioned Renault's commitment.

"Everybody was talking about Renault and afterwards Honda stopped.

"I don't want to spend the money just because we are in Formula One. I was always pushing about the reduction of costs and now it looks like everybody has had my idea. If Honda had listened to me five years ago, maybe they'd still be in business."

In Valencia, Spain, BMW Sauber rolled out its 2009 car yesterday hoping the new vehicle will deliver on the team's target of winning the Formula One championship.

Drivers Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld unveiled the F1.09 car at the Cheste Circuit at Valencia before Kubica took it out for an installation lap.

Several people, including team crew, saw a modified car that closely resembled several of this year's new class, sporting a stocky front and slim rear.

The 2009 modifications are expected to create greater downforce, double engine life and change aerodynamics to allow for more overtaking.

BMW Sauber managing director Walter Riedl said the changes will have the biggest impact on F1 design "for 30 years."


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